100 Days of Science #96- #98-- Homemade Pop Rock Candy & Rock Candy Erruptions

My boys love edible experiments so when I saw a recipe to make your own pop rock candy I just knew we had to try it!  Then I saw a few other science experiments you can do with rock candy and thought it would be fun to extend the activity even further.

We made homemade rock candy using this recipe.    It took quite some time for the boiling sugar solution to reach the desired temperature but it looked good when we put it in the pan to cool and harden.

First we dusted our cookie sheet with powdered sugar.

Then we combined the baking soda and citric acid together.

Next we combined corn syrup, sugar, and water and brought it to a boil in a medium saucepan.

When our sugar reached 300 degrees we removed it from the heat and added the citric acid mixture and food coloring.

As I was whisking we could already see some bubbling and hear some fizzing.

I quickly poured it onto our prepared pan.

Topped it with a bit more citric acid and then set it aside to cool and harden.

Once it was hardened we broke off large pieces and put them all in a ziplock bag then used our meat tenderizing mallet to break our pop rocks into small pieces.

We did try some and marveled over the fizzing in our mouths but the Pop Rocks were very sour; like sour patch kids.

We decided to take our bag outside and try a few experiments.

W tried adding pop rocks to some soda to see what type of reaction we'd get... sadly we didn't notice much happening.  We could hear lots of fizzing but that was about it; we deemed our 1st experiment a failure.

I knew that there was a chemical reaction taking place between the soda and the pop rocks so I convinced Alec to try putting some of our Pop rocks into a deflated balloon (using a funnel) and then stretching the balloon over the mouth of the soda.

By dropping the pop rocks into a sealed bottle of soda the gases given off by the reaction were trapped and slowly began to inflate the balloon.

Buoyed by Alec's success, we turned to Evan's experiment.  He poured a small amount of coke into some film canisters we used to make pop rockets back in the day and quickly added a bit of Pop rocks to the container before closing the lid.  As the gas pressure built up, we did hear a "pop" sound and the film canister moved slightly and opened up.. not nearly as impressive as real pop rockets but again, at least we had a reaction.

We tried it over and over again until we lost interest.  The boys then suggested we buy "real" Pop Rocks candy and try all three experiments again!

Others in this series:
58.  Exploding Snow and Water Baggies 
59.  Exploring Properties of Minerals
60.  Visiting the Hartford Science Museum
61- 63.  3 Difference Bridge Challenges
64.  Making Models of the Earth's Layers 
65.  Graham Cracker Plate Tectonics 
66.  Homemade Lava Lamps
67.  Movies We're Watching for Science
68.  Index Card Tower Challenge 
69.  Learning Botany at the Botanical Gardens
70.  Board Games for Science
71.  Homemade Frozen Yogurt Pops
72.  Starburst Rock Cycle 
73.  & 74.  Making Marshmallows Sink and Grow
75. Jumping Conversation Hearts
76-78.  Making Paper Airplanes 3 Different Ways 
79.  Learning About Hummingbirds
80.  Planting an Herb Garden
81.  Mushroom Spores
82.-84.  Penny Saturation Experiment
85.  Sink or Float?
86.  Disappearing and Re-Appearing Ink
87.  Sediment Layer Jars 
88.  Tie Dye Science 
89-91 DNA Experiments
92.  Making Homemade Butter
93.  Floating Marker Art


  1. Very intrigued by the idea of making homemade pop rocks!
    You guys make science really fun!

    1. It was pretty neat; though we really did not like the taste they sure did feel just like pop rocks.

  2. That rock candy looks like it would be so much fun to make! Thank you for sharing!


    1. It was fun! We want to try to make rock candy now that we've successfully made pop rocks.

  3. This looks like so much fun! I just saw your post on Tuesdays with a Twist and I would love to have you join Farm Fresh Tuesdays to share your posts!

    1. I'd love to! I'll add your link party to my list.


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