The Sweeter Side of Density

In this Activity, students determine the density of different sugar solutions (0-50%). They then dye the solutions and devise a method to combine the solutions to make a multi-colored, layered heterogeneous mixture. This Activity could be used in units dealing with measurement or density. The Activity also underscores the idea that less dense objects float relative to their more dense surroundings. As an extension, students could use standard sugar solutions to determine the sugar content of a commercial beverage.


Michael Davis and Charles Henry, J. Chem. Educ. 2008, 85, p1088A.

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Comments 2

Cindy Reese | Sat, 08/25/2018 - 14:22


Do you provide written instructions or do you just have the kids figure out the different densities and create the tower of liquid? Thanks

Deanna Cullen's picture
Deanna Cullen | Sat, 08/25/2018 - 17:27

Hi Cindy! Thank you for your interest in ChemEd X. This page is an abstract referencing a JCE Classroom Activity published in 2008. There were over 100 JCE Classroom Activities published and they have been very popular. If you have a subscription to the Journal of Chemical Education or have access to downloads of ACS publications through an ACS or AACT membership*, you can download the activity.

*Accessing Cited Articles