Investigations Database

Mood Rings

Posted on Dec 19 2017 by Louise Lopes

Tags: chemistry, physics, year 7-8, year 9-10, year 11-12, light, thermal, crystal

Experiment Overview

Behold the beauty of gems that change colours! Mood rings are said to change colour depending on the mood of the person who is wearing it. Students will be asked to investigate this claim by seeing if they can change the colour of a mood ring (without having to change their mood!) Students will poise their own question, to which they must answer by planning and conducting their own experiment. Students choose how they will collect and analyse data, and they will evaluate the reliability of their results.


As this investigation is an open inquiry, students from all grades will benefit from practising their science inquiry skills. There are many possibilities that students could test for, meaning that each lab group could essentially perform a unique experiment. Presenting the results at the end of the practical will give students the opportunity to share information that will help them when explaining how mood rings work.


The science behind mood rings is fascinating. Year 7-8 students will benefit from thinking about whether a physical or a chemical change is taking place. They will also learn how separating temperature from other variables (such as increased heart-rate) is difficult as heat energy is a common by-product of energy transfers. Year 9-10 students will benefit from learning how the molecular structure of the mood ring determines its colour, as well as the wave properties of light as it bounces off a coloured surface.

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