Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Celery With A Twist

Can you change the flavor of celery? Everyone knows the old experiment with celery, food coloring, and water to show kids how plants transport water through xylems. But, what would happen if we dissolved sugar in water? Could a celery stalk suck it up? Dissolve 2 tbsp in 1/4 cup of warm water and stir. Let the sugar dissolve completely. In another glass, just pour 1/4 cup water. In a third glass, demonstrate the classic celery / food coloring (1/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp food coloring). Finally, in another glass pour 1/4 cup of fruit punch, juice, or soda (any beverage of your choice). Optional: Spike's Science says to add sand before adding your liquid to keep your celery positioned. Then, wash your celery after the experiment to remove the sand. Now, cut  an inch off the bottom of each of your celery stalks. Leave the leafy part on top. Then, add one stalk to each of your liquids.

When the food coloring has travelled up the celery, you know the experiment is ready! If you added sand, clean your celery with water. Cut the celery up and taste it (not the colored celery, just your flavored and plain)! What happened? The celery with sugar is now sweet! You changed the flavor, amazing! Experiment with other flavors.

Note: To speed up the experiment, use a blow dryer pointed down on top of the celery's leaves. Visit Science on the Shelves for the scientific explanation. 

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