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I made ScienceFix.com to share my favorite demos that I do in my middle school science classes.  

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Thursday
Dec162010

Video Demo: Flaming Gummy Worm

I usually do this demo with a Gummy bear, but all I had was Gummy worms, so that's what I used.  Sucrose has a lot of energy stored in the bonds that hold the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms together.  With a little bit of activation energy (melting the potassium chlorate) and a large supply of oxygen gas, (supplied by the potassium chlorate) that energy gets released in the form of light and heat energy (exothermic).  

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Reader Comments (4)

Very cool. But what I want to know is: who gets to clean out the test tube?

December 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

That would be me :)

December 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterDarren Fix

I teach Chemistry and I really do not incorporate a lot of demos into my lessons. We just finished the unit on Reaction Rates and this demo seems simple enough to get the students interested.

If the gummy worm was not added would there be no light?

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerry

Terry, that's a good question. Sugar in the gummy worm is what reacts with the potassium chlorate. The reaction does give off that brilliant light. Make sure you don't use sugar by itself. The small sugar particles would great a too fast of reaction and that could be dangerous.

April 4, 2011 | Registered CommenterDarren Fix

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