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STEM Activity Spotlight: Fall

By Ishika Desai

Fall is an extremely fun season that holds nostalgia for so many people. This season comes with so many themes and holidays to enjoy, but there are also many STEM-related activities to brighten this season.

The first experiment is fizzy apple art. This experiment can be done for kids of all ages and requires minimal supervision. This simple activity requires only six ingredients: heavy paper, food coloring, baking soda, vinegar, a spray bottle or eye dropper, and scissors. First, draw whole apples on your paper and cut them out once they are finished. Then, in a bowl, place equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste/paint. After this paste is ready, spread the paste on your apple cutouts. In a separate container, add two tablespoons of vinegar

photo courtesy/ Little Bins for Little Hands

and food coloring. This can be repeated for as many colors as you prefer. Then, add the vinegar mixture into a spray bottle or eye dropper. From here, you can begin to place the mixtures on the apples. Make sure to watch the fizz occur due to the chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar. This reaction creates carbon dioxide and provides a simple and fun way to introduce kids to STEM.

The second experiment is an apple browning experiment. This experiment can also be done for kids of all ages and requires mild supervision. For this activity, you would need at least two types of apples, paper plates, and lemon juice. First, label the paper plates for each type of apple you are using, and in a separate bowl, add lemon juice. Then, cut two wedges out of the apple, dip one in the lemon

photo courtesy/ Little Bins for Little Hands

juice, and leave the other as the control wedge, placing them both in their designated plate. Repeat these earlier steps for all the types of apples you are using and wait until the apples begin to brown. From this experiment, try to examine which apples turned brown first, and if the lemon juice slice was more effective than its control counterpart. This apple-themed experiment is a great way to introduce kids to chemistry as the lemon juice’s Ascorbic acid reacts with oxygen before the apple’s enzymes, preventing browning.

The third and final experiment is a fall classic. Candy apples may be a household treat, but the process of making them is definitely STEM-worth. This experiment will require parental supervision. For this experiment, you will need ½ cup water, 1.75 cups of golden sugar, 1 teaspoon of white vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of corn syrup. The tools you will need for this are a 3-4 quart saucepan, two large bowls, a thermometer, a scrubbing pad, wooden skewers, a metal spoon, and a tray lined with parchment paper. The first step is to fill a large bowl

photo courtesy/ STEAM Powered Family

with boiling water so the wax film can be removed from the apples. Then, put the wooden skewers into the stalk end of the apple, ensuring that they are firmly in place. After the skewers are in place, put each apple in the boiling water for a minute. Fill the second bowl with warm water. After the apples in the boiling water batch are done, transfer them to the warm water bowl to scrub off the wax film. When all of the apples have gone through this process, dry them with a cloth and place them on the parchment paper tray. In the saucepan, add water and sugar over medium heat until it’s boiling. Then, add in the vinegar and corn syrup. Make sure to stir the mixture. To ensure that the mixture is at the right consistency, place a thermometer and monitor until it reaches 150C. Once it reaches this temperature, dip the apples in the mixture, twisting them out as they are coated. Repeat this for all the apples and place them on the parchment tray. Then, wait for the apples to dry! The science behind this experiment is that the syrup mixture reaches the “hard crack” stage at 150 C, at this point, the syrup has lost its fluids and the sucrose molecules will begin to break down and caramelize.

To sum up, fall is an incredible season with so much to do. It is a great way to introduce kids to the basics of STEM using fun, fall themes!

Works Cited

Brewer, Shelley. “Candy Apples Recipe - Sweet Candy Science.” STEAM

Powered Family, 8 Nov. 2017,


McClelland, Sarah. “Apple Science Lemon Juice Experiment.” Little Bins

for Little Hands, 12 May 2017,


McClelland, Sarah. “Fizzy Apple Art for Fall.” Little Bins for Little Hands, 1

Aug. 2020,

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