Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor?

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Each learner chews a piece of gum until it loses its flavor, and then leaves the gum to dry for several days. By weighing the gum before and after chewing, they can determine the amount of mass lost which corresponds to the amount of sugar in the gum. Learners are then asked to design their own experiment to answer a question of their choosing related to the activity. Learners can follow this with a related activity: "How much Sugar is in Bubble Gum?" Resource contains detailed suggestions to assist learners who are designing their own experiment. Time requirement is intended to be spread over several meetings.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
2 to 4 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a few sheets of aluminum foil (or small plastic weighing boats, if available)
  • a few permanent markers
  • one piece of gum per student; packaged bubble gum (e.g., Bubble Yum or Bubblicious brands) containing sugar works best for the initial experiment; use only one brand and flavor of gum for the whole class
  • several triple-beam balances accurate to 0.1 g (or electronic balances)
  • additional gum will be needed for the second set of student-devised experiments; amounts and types depend on what students choose to investigate


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Taste
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • taste

Learning styles supported:

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


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Hebrank, Mary R.

Source Collection

  • TeachEngineering


  • All rights reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, 2013