Did you know that the Guiness World Record for a Curly Wurly stretch is 4.26 meters? It was accomplished under three minutes by Tracy Sullivan in Frome in 2015. You can see her record here.
Now it is your turn to try the Curly Wurly challenge in three minutes! This challenge will help kids understand more about a material’s elasticity, while having fun and winning a treat at the end.
You will need:
A Curly Wurly
A tape measure
Unpack your Curly Wurly. Why not try this experiment with a friend? You would have one Curly Wurly for the two of you. (Don’t forget to discuss your strategy!)
Set the timer for three minutes.
Start stretching! Stretching works best when the Curly Wurly is heated up, so try to warm it up with your hands at first. Remember to be gentle or it might snap!
After the three minutes, lay the Curly Wurly down on a flat surface and measure it. Or, have a third person measure it while still holding onto it. How long is it? Did you beat the record?
The science bit:
Some materials behave differently according to their temperature. The Curly Wurly stretches better when it’s warm because its molecules are spread wider apart, increasing the material’s elasticity. When the chocolate and toffee are cold, their molecules are bonded together tightly, keeping it from stretching.
Why not try this Curly Wurly challenge again with a frozen Curly? Or after it’s been in the microwave for ten seconds? Is it harder or easier to do?
Why not try it with a different treat? Will a Fudge bar stretch? How about stretching a strawberry lace?