Learn about Osmosis with Gummy Bears

This experiment is designed to be fun and educational, suitable for kids aged 5 to 11. It demonstrates the fascinating process of osmosis, where water moves through a semi-permeable substance.

Gummy Bear Osmosis Experiment


To observe the effects of osmosis on gummy bears when placed in different solutions.


  • Gummy bears
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • 3 bowls or containers
  • Ruler
  • Kitchen scale (optional)
  • Paper towels
  • Timer or clock
  • Notebook for observations

Safety Precautions:

  • Do not consume the gummy bears after the experiment, they may grow bacteria.
  • Adult supervision is recommended, especially when preparing the solutions.

Experiment Procedure:

  • Preparation of Solutions:
    • Salt Water: Heat 1 cup of water and dissolve 7-9 tablespoons of salt in it to create a supersaturated salt solution. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
    • Sugar Water: Repeat the process with sugar instead of salt to make a supersaturated sugar solution.
    • Plain Water: Fill the third bowl with plain water.
    • Vinegar: Fill the forth bowl with white vinegar.
  • Setting Up the Experiment:
    • Place a few gummy bears in each solution.
    • Keep some gummy bears aside as control samples for comparison.
  • Observation and Measurement:
    • Measure the initial size and weight of the gummy bears and record these in your notebook.
    • Observe the gummy bears at set intervals (e.g., every 12 hours) for up to 72 hours.
    • Note any changes in size, weight, color, and texture.
  • Results and Discussion:
    • Plain Water: Gummy bears should swell as water moves into them, increasing their size and weight.
    • Salt Water: Gummy bears might shrink slightly or show less swelling compared to plain water due to the high concentration of salt outside.
    • Sugar Water: Results can vary. The gummy bears may swell if the concentration of sugar inside the bears is higher than in the solution.
    • Vinegar: The acid in the vinegar breaks down the protein, allowing more water into the bear, but also causes it to lose its shape
  • Understanding Osmosis:
    • Discuss the concept of osmosis: the movement of water from an area of high water concentration to an area of low water concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.
    • Explain how the gummy bear acts as a semi-permeable membrane, allowing water to enter but not the larger sugar molecules.
  • Conclusion:
    • Summarize the findings and compare them with the initial hypotheses.
    • Discuss why the gummy bears behaved differently in each solution.
  • Extension Ideas:
    • Experiment with other solutions like baking soda water, or different concentrations of salt and sugar.
    • Measure and chart the changes in size and weight over time.
    • Use colored bears and watch and discuss how the color changes, why does this happen?