Candy Chemosynthesis

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In this activity, groups of learners work together to create edible models of chemicals involved in autotrophic nutrition. Learners use candy to represent elements involved in the chemical equations for chemosynthesis and photosynthesis. Learners complete a Lab Report based on their findings and understanding of chemosynthesis and photosynthesis. This detailed lesson guide includes background information, additional information for teachers of deaf students, and extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Tablecloths
  • Napkins
  • Decorator's icing (or glue)
  • Soft candies
  • Toothpicks
  • Small paper plates
  • Poster paper
  • Non-toxic colored markers


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Volcanoes and Plate Tectonics
      • Geochemical Cycles
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
      • Viruses and Bacteria
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elements and Periodic Table
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
      • Variables and Expressions
    • Representation

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Food and Cooking
  • Model Building
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Williams, Kimberly


  • All rights reserved, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,