Activity: Jelly Bean STEM: Engineering a Rainbow
Objective: To engage students using STEM skills to find solutions to inquiries through hands-on investigation and discovery.
Materials Needed:
✓ Jelly beans
✓ Paper plates (w raised edge)
✓ Cups
✓ Water
✓ Vinegar
✓ Timer
✓ Toothpicks
Make Predictions:
❖ Which liquid, water or vinegar, will dissolve the jelly bean colors faster?
❖ Do you think the jelly bean colors will dissolve at different rates?
What to Do:

  1. Invite students to arrange jelly beans in a color pattern around the edge of the paper plate.
  2. Choose one liquid. Pour the liquid slowly onto the center of the plate.
  3. Start timer.
  4. Observe as liquid disperses.
  5. Photograph as colors begin to dissolve.
  6. When colors meet in the center of paper plate, stop the timer. Record time.
  7. Repeat experiment step by step using second liquid.
  8. Note differences.

Follow Up:
❖ What did you observe during the experiment? Refer to photos, if needed.
❖ Did one color of jelly bean dissolve faster than the others?
❖ Was your prediction correct?
❖ Did you like the experiment?
❖ What would you do differently if you could do the experiment again?
If Time Allows: Provide students with jelly beans and toothpicks to create sculptures.

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