Sugar Detective

Sugar Detective


  • Drinks
  • 5 lb bag of sugar
  • Ziploc sandwich bags
  • Labels
  • Markers
  • 1/4, 1/2 and 1 teaspoon
  • Bowls of sugar
  • Kitchen balance (optional)



  1. Have students select a drink and write the name of that drink on a label.
  2. Ask them to find how much sugar is in one serving of the drink and then write this number on the label. Place the label on a Ziploc bag.
  3. Measure the amount of sugar in the drink with a kitchen balance or teaspoons into the plastic bag and seal
  4. Sugar is measured in grams but if a kitchen balance is not available students can use teaspoons to measure out the approximate amount of sugar


Discussion: When we eat sugar, we get a quick boost of energy. There are the Calories on a nutrition table. Sugar is easy for our body to burn – if you eat something with sugar, it seems to fill you up quickly, but the full feeling also goes away faster. If you have a diet that is high in sugar but low in other calories, you are not helping your heart or the rest of your body. Sugar is a molecule called SUCROSE. Our body converts it to GLUCOSE. This blood sugar is carried by our blood to the cells in our body. This is the nutrient our cells need for energy. Too much or too little glucose in our blood is not good, so it is important to help our body regulate the amount of sugar. One way we can do that is to be aware of all the hidden sugars in our diet that we might not need!


Download this activity here.

See video tutorial led by AAC STEM Advisor, Karen Meyer here!


Grade Range: PreK-8th grade


Time: 25 Minutes


Synopsis: Sugar is a great fuel for instant energy but too much sugar all the time is not healthy. Sometimes, a lot of sugar is hidden where we least expect it. This activity helps students understand the hidden sugars in popular drinks.