DEFB News / Junior Farmers

#DeFBJuniorFarmers: Produce a rainbow in a jar at home

Searching for a fun (and easy) St. Patrick’s Day activity while you are home with the kids today? Test out this Rainbow in a Jar STEM experiment. Like farmers, we will cultivate a sense of curiosity by investigating how a simple change in the ingredients can affect a product. Enjoy the experiment and follow up with some quiet time as our Junior Farmers journal their observations just like more seasoned farmers who might journal their own observations and monitor conditions as they grow their business and improve on their products.

Step 1: Gather your ingredients!
5 see-through cups, jars or other container (One of these should be tall)
About 2 cups of warm tap water
Measuring cup
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon
1.5 cups of granulated white sugar
Food coloring (we used red, yellow, green and blue)
Straw (maybe two to speed up the process)
Popsicle sticks

Step 2: Add water
Add ½ cup of warm water into 4 of the jars.

Step 3: Color the water
Add 2 drops of food coloring in each jar (1 color per jar!).

Step 4: Add sugar and stir!
Add sugar to the water. Remember to observe how it feels when stirring each one with the popsicle sticks. If the sugar doesn’t dissolve easily, try warming the water in the microwave again. Be careful! It might be hot.

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar in the red water.
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar in the yellow water.
  • 6 tablespoons of sugar in the green water.
  • 8 tablespoons of sugar in the blue water.

Step 5: Start with the blue
Into a tall glass, pour about an inch of blue water as your base.

Step 6: Add the green
Using the straw, gently drip the green water into the jar on top of the blue layer. Be careful! We won’t want the colors to mix, so be sure to drip the water in slowly. Placing the straw against the side of the jar to slow the drip might be helpful. See what works best for you!

Step 6: Add the yellow; then add the red
Add the yellow, then the red, using the same method as above.

Step 7: Observe
Now it’s time to appreciate your hard work. Here’s some questions to get you thinking:

  1. Why do you think the colors did not mix much? Did you need to adjust the amount of sugar needed to ensure they would not mix?
  2. Was it harder to stir one of the colors versus another?
  3. Can you define density based on this experiment? (From Study.com: “Density is a word we use to describe how much space an object or substance takes up (its volume) in relation to the amount of matter in that object or substance (its mass). Another way to put it is that density is the amount of mass per unit of volume. If an object is heavy and compact, it has a high density.”
  4. How do you think farmers use density to improve their products?

Did you know… Farmers use concepts like density to determine if their soil is healthy enough for their crops, measure livestock in a given agricultural area, and other scientific applications.

How did you do!? Share your product on social media with #DeFBJuniorFarmers. Interested in becoming a Delaware Farm Bureau member to support our local farmers? Find out more at defb.org.

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