Consumer Science, Chemistry
2nd – 4th grades
Difficulty of Project
Less than $20.00
Adult supervision is strongly recommended with any cooking activity.
Easily purchased from a grocery store
Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project
About an hour to conduct the experiment; one day to prepare the science fair display
To determine which brand of microwave popcorn leaves the fewest unpopped kernels
- 5 different brands of microwave popcorn
Inside a kernel of corn is starch and a little bit of water. When the water inside a kernel of corn is heated, it becomes a gas. The gas grows and causes the starch to break out of its outside covering forming a piece of soft, white popcorn.
In this investigation, different brands of microwave popcorn are tested and compared.
kernel: the whole seed of corn
When the water inside a kernel of corn heats up, it becomes a gas and expands bursting out of its outer covering creating popcorn.
- What causes microwave popcorn to pop?
- Are some brands of microwave popcorn better than others?
- Is there anyway to reduce the number of unpopped kernels?
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Follow the directions on the bag to prepare the microwave popcorn.
- When the popcorn is finished popping, place the popped kernels in a bowl. Count the unpopped kernels and record.
- Repeat Steps 2 – 3 for each of the different types of microwave popcorn. Record the results.
“Why Popcorn Pops and Other Grains Don’t” at Moment of Science at http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience
“Steam Explosions – the science of popcorn” at Kitchen Science Experiments at the www.thenakedscientists.com