Why is Honeycomb full of bubbles?

Why is Honeycomb full of bubbles?

Short description
Full description
Short description

Why is Honeycomb full of bubbles?

Type of resource:  Website

Web address https://www.science-sparks.com/how-to-make-honeycomb/

Language: English


Experiment investigating why there are bubbles in honeycomb.

Scientific concept introduced

Chemical reaction and gases.

Creative and critical thinking

Critical Thinking:
- Prediction
- Explanation
- Analysis

Creative Thinking:
- Making

- Imagining

Mathematical reasoning

- Measuring

Scientific thinking

- Questioning
- Measuring
- Making
- Observing
- Predicting
- Drawing conclusions
- Recording

Learning how to learn

- Communication
- Engagement in learning
- Collaborative learning


- Oral language - listening and following instructions
- Literacy - vocabulary development
- Cooking skill of stirring and pouring
- Collaborative skills of sharing and turn taking
- Hand-eye coordination
- Safety in the kitchen

Full description

Why is Honeycomb full of bubbles?

Overall aims

● to enable pupils to explore the chemical reaction involved in forming the bubbles in honeycomb
● to develop pupils’ skills in listening and following instructions
● to develop pupils’ cooking skills of stirring and pouring
● to develop pupils’ skills in observing and predicting
● to develop pupils’ skills in measuring
● to develop pupils’ skills in creative thinking

Vocabulary - keywords should be understood

Honeycomb, sugar, golden syrup, spatula, sweet, bubbles, gas, mixture, froth, stir

Expected learning outcomes (operational aims)

The child will be enabled to:
- follow instructions for making honeycomb
- explore how water, sugar, golden syrup and bicarbonate of soda react with one another
- practice measuring liquids in non-standard units
- practice the skill of stirring with a spatula
- make observations about how ingredients react and change
- respond creatively to the experiment

STEM skills - to which the learning unit is related to


● Asking questions
● Explaining
● Observing
● Predicting
● Analysing the process and results involved in making honeycomb
● Measuring
● Making
● Imagining
● Drawing conclusions


● Communication
● Engagement in learning
● Collaborative learning
● Oral language
● Literacy – vocabulary development
● Cooking skills of stirring and pouring
● Hand-eye coordination
● Fine-motor skills
● Following rules of safety

Teaching methodologies/activity outline


1. Ask pupils to work in groups. Give a piece of honeycomb to each group and
Sample questions: What colour is it? Have you ever tasted food like this
before? If so, what did it taste like? (Eliciting a sweet taste). What do you
think it’s made of? What’s inside the honeycomb? (Eliciting that there are
bubbles). Why do you think there are bubbles?

2. Explain to pupils that the main ingredients in honeycomb are sugar, water and
golden syrup (hold these items up as you identify them). Inform pupils that
they’re going investigate why honeycomb is full of bubbles.



(Ask pupils to work in 4 groups, with one adult per group.)


Materials: (per group)
- 25g of sugar
- ¼ Tablespoon of water
- ½ Tablespoon of golden syrup
- ¼ Teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Spatula
- Teaspoon
- Tablespoon
- Poster paper



(Each group will need to be carefully supervised by an adult)
1. Prepare by lining a baking tray with foil.
2. Place the sugar into the saucepan.
3. Pour in the water and golden syrup.
4. Place on a low heat.
5. Stir the mixture well, until all of the sugar has dissolved.
6. Raise the heat a little so that the mixture begins to bubble.
7. Stir a little more, making sure there’s no sugar left on the bottom of the

8. Take the pan off the heat.
9. Now add the bicarbonate of soda and stir well.
10. Ask pupils what they observe – the mixture should froth up with lots of
11. Pour the mixture onto a small baking tray, or into a mould to cool. Now
you have made honeycomb! Ask pupils to explain in their own words why
they think the bubbles appeared.

Inform pupils of the following: This is because of gas (like the gas inside a
blown up balloon). When the bicarbonate of soda was heated, it caused a
reaction and released a gas (called carbon dioxide). This gas caused the
sugar and syrup mixture to froth up and bubble. Those bubbles then
became trapped in the mixture and they stayed there and ‘set’ as the
mixture cooled.



Ask pupils in their groups, to make up a fun and creative story explaining why
there are bubbles in honeycomb. Then ask them to do record it as an audio
- Begin by planning the audio story
- Record it
    - Talk through each part of the story
    - Add sound effects – using voice or props
- Share the audio story with the other groups in the class

Assessment of learning

Pupil observation sheet, group work poster

Equipment and materials to be used in learning unit (tools, ingredients etc)

Materials: (per group)
- 1 piece of honeycomb
- 25g of sugar
- 1/4 Tablespoon of water
- 1/2 Tablespoon of golden syrup
- ¼ Teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Spatula
- Teaspoon
- Tablespoon
- Poster paper

Kind of setting

Kitchen or classroom with cooking facilities (i.e. hot stove)

References - source

Website: https://www.science-sparks.com/how-to-make-honeycomb/


Why is Honeycomb full of bubbles?

1. Usefulness for STEM education - integrating content of different disciplines

Cross-curricular character of the resource 


The range of S-T-E-M subjects included 


The presentation of possibilities of including artistic activities (STEAM approach)




2. Expected learning outcomes

Consistency (links) with preschool core curriculum


Communicativeness of description


3. Methodology of teaching

Clarity, communicativeness of instructions for teachers


Meaningful learning - using practical life problems


Original idea 


The level of ease in implementing the methodology to preschool age children




The level of ease in preparing necessary ingredients, materials and equipment needed


4. Sustainability

Ecological characteristics of materials/ results


Supporting healthy eating habits 




Low ecological footprint


Possibilities of inclusion (respecting cultural diversity and food intolerances)


5. Class management

Using differentiated forms of work - individual, team work etc.


Individual work





Team work





Whole group




6. Time management


Short activity (10-15 minutes)




Medium activity (20-30 minutes)




Long activity (1 hour or more)




Very long activity (1 day or more)


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