Rock Candy - How to Make Rock Candy and Learn Science

Rock Candy - photo by Cody Hough, college student and photographer, Michigan
Rock Candy - photo by Cody Hough, college student and photographer, Michigan

What is Rock Candy

Rock candy is fun to make. You can create these beautiful crystals with simple ingredients and a few pieces of everyday kitchen equipment.

The making of rock candy is an amusing way to introduce children to chemistry.

The sugar crystals created in the making of rock candy are monoclinic crystals. The shape of the crystal is dictated by the shape of the individual molecules so that the larger crystal shape - the rock candy - is the same shape of the smaller sugar crystal.

A monoclinic crystal is created on a 3D grid where the vectors go off in different directions. Two pairs of vectors are perpendicular and a third pair make an angle other than the first two.

Rock Candy - Equpment Needed

Medium Saucepan

Wooden Spoon

Water

Sugar

Coloring Agent (if desired)

String - Natural Fiber or Heavy Cotton Thread

Tall Glass or Plastic Container

Pencil or Skewer

Tape

Rock Candy - Prime Strings

Source

Rock Candy - Suspend String in Sugar Syrup

Source

Rock Candy

Source

How to Make Rock Candy

If young children participate in the making of rock candy, an adult should boil the syrup for safety sake. Since the syrup must be cool before pouring, children can do this, as well the the measuring before hand.

  • Thoroughly wash all equipment and dry.
  • Boil 2 cups of water and 4 cups of sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Allow sugar syrup to cool.
  • Pour into containers.
  • Add flavoring agent if desired (1 teaspoon of extract - vanilla, orange, almond, etc) or 1/2 teaspoon of flavoring oil (less if it's peppermint).
  • Cut string or thread to a size long enough to wrap around a pencil or skewer, short enough so that it will not touch the bottom of the glass.
  • Prime the string. Attach a weigh (paper clip). Dip in cooled sugar syrup. Lay the string or thread out straight on a nonstick cookie sheet or waxed paper. Allow to dry.
  • Suspend primed string in sugar syrup. You will no longer need the weight.Wrap the string around a pencil to keep it in place. You can tape the string to the pencil and tape the pencil to the glass to avoid slippage.
  • You can use skewers instead of string. Suspend skewer from the rim of the glass, anchoring it with clothespins.
  • Set glasses on a level surface. Do not disturb the containers for 3 weeks.

How to Make Rock Candy - A Short Film

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

Nancy's Niche profile image

Nancy's Niche 7 years ago from USA

Great article and information---thanks for sharing this recipe I will pass it on to my grandson’s for their next science project…


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Thanks, Nancy - I hope they enjoy the activity, but you have to have patience as it takes some time for the crystals to form.


mdawson17 7 years ago

Great Hub I would love to copy this hub or could you send it to my email! I have a child that my wife and I home school and this would be a great project for her to do!

mdawson17


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

Thank you mdawson. It's so easy you can just copy it down. I hate to admit it, but I just hand copy my recipes instead of printing them out - the writing it down helps me remember!


cosette 7 years ago

amazing. i love the internet. great hub!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States Author

I know. You can find anything on the internet. Thank you, cosette!


Donna Sundblad profile image

Donna Sundblad 4 years ago from Georgia

I love rock candy! This recipe is a keeper. Great hub. I voted it up and useful.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 3 years ago from Chennai, India

An engaging hub with clear step-by-step photos, clear instructions and good videos. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working