Mysterious M&M's

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Learners place an M&M candy in water and observe what happens. The sugar-and-color coating dissolves and spreads out in a circular pattern around the M&M. This introductory activity provides a basis for learners to ask questions and to learn more about dissolving, identifying and controlling variables, and designing a fair test. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 M&M
  • 1 White plastic or foam dessert plate
  • Room-temperature water
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Bucket or large bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Student Activity Sheet


  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Kessler, James H. ; Galvan, Patricia M.


  • All rights reserved, American Chemical Society, 2007