ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make gummy bears grow.

What you need:

  • Salt
  • Two clear glasses
  • Gummy bears
  • Water
  • Cooking pot


Label your two clear glasses with one saying water and the other saying salt solution. Next, you will want to make your salt solution.

First, take your cooking pot and fill it a quarter of the way with water. Next, boil the water (you’ll want a parent’s help with this). Start adding salt to the boiling water to dissolve it into the water. Do this until the salt will no longer dissolve. You will want this water to cool before you put a gummy bear in it.

To make the cooling process faster, you can stick it in a container in the fridge. Once your salt solution is cool, pour some into the glass labeled salt solution. Next, stick a gummy bear into the glass.

In the other glass, add plain water to it. Now stick a gummy bear in that glass. You’ll want to keep one gummy bear out on the counter as your control. Now, sit the glasses out overnight. The next morning, fish your gummy bears out of the water and salt solution. Observe how they have grown compared to the control gummy bear.


Gummy bears are made up of sugar, gelatin, and water. They are heated in the process to make them, and when cooled, the water is taken out.

The gummy bears are semi-permeable. When added to water, the gummy bear becomes a solute. A solute is something you dissolve in a solvent. In this case, the water is the solvent. A solvent is a liquid that can dissolve another substance. Since the gummy bear doesn’t contain water, the water wants to move into the gummy bear to equalize it. This process is called osmosis. When the water moves into the gummy bear, it will make the gummy bear bigger.

Your salt solution gummy bear should have not grown, or not grown as well as the water one. This is because Gelatin is a bigger molecule compared to salt. Since the water already has salt dissolved into it, the water doesn’t want to move into the gummy bear as much since it doesn’t take as much to even out and balance these two solutions.

Try it with other liquids and let us know if the gummy bear grows or not. Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.