In case you couldn’t contain your excitement for the holiday season enough, this week we’re bringing you a winter themed science experiment. By heating up and then cooling down Maple Syrup, you can create an icy candy treat to share with friends and family! This is the Syrup Snow experiment and to follow along, you’ll need a few things: You will need:
Clean snow or crushed ice
Pure maple syrup
A sauce pan
A measuring cup
A fork or any kind of spoon
A candy thermometer (optional)
An adult helper
Using your measuring cup, you’ll first want to pour in roughly 1 cups worth of maple syrup. After that, grab your adult helper and kindly ask them to assist in boiling the maple syrup in a saucepan. You’ll want to stir the syrup very frequently, until it reaches roughly 230 degrees. (If you have a candy thermometer, you can use it to help you!)
Once the maple syrup is boiled, pour it back into the measuring cup and prepare your snow or crushed ice. Slowly pour the boiled maple syrup on top of the snow or crushed ice in a line.
The next thing to do is simply wait as the maple syrup starts to freeze into shape. You should notice little crystals start to form in your syrup. Use your fork or spoon to dig up the now solid syrup pieces.
And just like that – you have maple syrup candy! Making more is as simple as repeating the experiment, so why not show off your new “recipe” to others?
The Science Bit: As you may have noticed, we ended up messing around with the temperature of the maple syrup quite a bit. The sugar contained in the syrup is the catalyst for the Syrup Snow experiment. Maple syrup is a liquid that contains both sugar and water, however sugar itself is a solid. When the maple syrup is heated up, some of the water evaporates and the solution that’s left behind becomes very concentrated as a result of this. However, when the maple syrup is then quickly cooled down, the sugar molecules inside the syrup start to form crystals. These crystals are what essentially turn your maple syrup from a liquid into a semi-solid.