Where Should You Store Your Popcorn?

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Updated on Dec 17, 2012

Grade Level: 3rd to 5th; Type: Food Science


In this project, students will investigate the affect of storage temperature on microwave popcorn.

Research Questions:

  • Does storage temperature affect the amount of microwave popcorn that actually pops?
  • Where is the best location to store microwave popcorn for maximum popping?

Many people place items, such as noodles, popcorn and bread, in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness. However, where is the best location to store your popcorn to reap the most popped kernels?


  • 6 identical microwave popcorn bags
  • Microwave
  • Freezer
  • Refrigerator
  • Cupboard
  • Bowls
  • Plastic bags

Experimental Procedure

  1. Place 2 microwave popcorn bags in each of the following locations: freezer, refrigerator and cupboard.
  2. Leave the bags overnight.
  3. Remove one bag from the freezer and write freezer on the bag.
  4. Pop the popcorn according to the directions on the bag.
  5. Remove the bag and allow it to cool.
  6. Repeat the procedures writing refrigerator on the bag from the refrigerator and cupboard on the bag from the cupboard.
  7. Ensure that you are following the same cooking directions for all of the bags.
  8. Mark each of 3 plastic bags as freezer, refrigerator or cupboard.
  9. Separate the unpopped kernels from the popcorn and place them in their corresponding plastic bag.
  10. Count the number of kernels that did not pop from each storage location.
  11. Record your data.
  12. Repeat the entire experiment using the other 3 bags of popcorn.
  13. Compare the number of kernels that did not pop. Were your numbers from the second experiment comparable to the first? Which location had the most unpopped kernels? Which location had the least kernels that did not pop? What can you conclude about the best storage location for gaining the most popped kernels?

Terms/Concepts: temperature

Reference: http://www.easy-kids-science-experiments.com/5th-grade-science-project.html

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