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Candle Race Essay

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Candle race
Purpose
To determine if color factors into how quickly a candle will burn

Additional information
Candles have some rather interesting chemistry (as you'll find about in this experiment). Have some fun and find out what color candle burns the fastest by conducting your very own candle race!

Required materials
5 candles of varying colors, preferably white, pink, yellow, green, and blue (must be same brand and size) Ruler
Marker or Sharpie
Matches or lighter
Scissors
Clay, Putty, or Play dough
Ceramic plate
Stop Watch
Pencil
Notebook (to record results)

Estimated Experiment Time
About 1 to 2 hours

Step-By-Step Procedure
1. Using your scissors, cut the wicks of each candle so that they are identical in length. Use your ruler to verify that every candle wick is of equal length. 2. Use your ruler to measure one inch down from the top of the candle. Next use your marker or Sharpie and draw a line or tick mark. You should now have 5 candles with equal wicks and all with lines one inch from the top. 3. Place some clay (or putty or play dough) on the plate. Flatten it so it covers the plate surface area. You'll be using this surface to hold your candles still, so make sure it's about 1/2 inch thick. 4. Gently push each candle into the clay, about 3 inches apart. The candles should all be upright (no leaning candles as it could affect the experiment outcome). 5. Get your stop watch ready and light one of the candles. As soon as it's lit, start the stop watch! 6. When the candle burns down to the black line or tick mark, stop the stopwatch. 7. In your notebook record the candle color and the time it took to burn. 8. Repeat steps 5 through 8 for each candle.

9. Compare your results. Which candle burned the fastest?

Note
Small thin candles work the best for this experiment. It's recommended to use birthday candles as they are readily available in grocery stores. Also, make sure to get help from an adult when it comes time to light those candles!

Observation
Was the rate at which the candles burned noticeable? What if you were to use candles that were thicker? How about ones that were thinner? Would it affect the burn rate? What would happen if you were to enclosed the fastest burning candle in a jar? Do you think it would burn at the same rate? What if you tried with a large jar or a small jar?

Result
Candles burn as a result of two components working together, the wick and the wax. Wax is a chemical compound that is composed of hydrogen and carbon atoms and are plastic at room temperature. When a wick is lit the temperature eventually rises above 113 degrees, causing the wax to vaporize. For best results it's recommended to run this experiment several times and compare the data. Which candle burned fastest for you? My Hypothesis was that white candles burn faster than colored candles. 

My Conclusion was that Red Candles burn the quickest. White candles do not burn quicker than colored candles because all the colored candles burn quicker than the white candle. My Hypothesis wasn't  supported.

I. Statement of Purpose and Hypothesis:

My topic was about burning candles. I wanted to find out what color candle would burn the fastest. My hypothesis stated
that, if I burned five candles, one red, one white, one yellow, one purple, and one blue, then the white one would burn the fastest.

II. Methodology

I tested my hypothesis by burning five candles. The materials that I used were a ruler, stop watch, black maker, candles, candle holders, and matches. The variables that were kept the same were the candle's brand, when we started to burn them, the length and width of the candle, room temperature, and distance between the candles. The only thing that was different was that the candles were different colors. To carry out my

project I first set up the candles four inches apart. Then I marked a line one inch down form the wick on each candle. Then I lit them all at once. Next, I started timing how long it took each to burn. I stopped timing when the mark on each

candle was gone. Finally, I recorded my data.

III. Analysis of Data:

The white candle didn't burn the fastest. The fastest burning candle was the yellow one which took twenty-two minutes and twenty seconds, then red which took twenty- four minutes and thirty seconds, then blue which took twenty-five mi...

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