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Comparing the burning speed of scented and unscented candlesFeatured science projectScience project video


The hypothesis that  unscented candles  burn more quicky than scented ones is proven to be false. All the candles burned at almost the same rate.

Candles have been used as a source of light before electricity was discovered, and the light bulb invented. They are normally used in religious ceremonies.  Scented candles are normally used in aromatherapy. Most birthday celebrations will not be complete without blowing the candles on a birthday cake. They are most useful as a light source during power failures that occur at night, although today, battery powered torches/lanterns are a preferred alternative.

Also consider

The experiment can also be done to compare the burn rate of different colored candles.

Try to repeat the experiment to compare the weight of the candle instead of its height. Do you think there will be any difference in your findings?


Candle -

Does scent affect how a candle burns? -

How does a candle work? -

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour to prepare, 1 hour for the science project experiment
Material availability:
Easily found. Candles can be purchased at a supermarket or department store.
Safety concerns:

Be careful when handling fire. Ensure that the experiment is conducted in a well-ventilated laboratory or in a safe location, with no flammable materials lying around. Adult assistance is required.