Quantcast

Macaroni National Macaroni Kid EATS Family Fitness Macaroni Military Families Family Safety Macaroni Stork Family Travel

Floating Popcorn Kernels - Science Project


January 26, 2012

Demonstrate buoyancy and chemical reactions

By: Kim McNeill ~ MK Publisher Southbury-Waterbury, CT
top image

Show your kids some science with items you probably have right now. 

 

What you need:

  • A clear, tall container
  • 3 cups of water--You can see in the video that I did not measure anything
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of baking soda
  • 1/8 cup of unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white vinegar

 

 

What you do:

  1. Mix baking soda and water in the clear container
  2. Add corn kernels
  3. Pour in vinegar--do this part in or near the sink. I'm surprised mine didn't overflow with foam
Adjust the amounts for whatever size jar/cup/vase you are using. 

See a video of our results:

 

 

 

Do this for all ages from preschool up through tween. The youngest kids will notice the motion. Make sure they look at the kernels and see that they have bubbles on them. 

 

For the next age of kids, you can explain about bubbles being pushed up by the water (floating) and the corn kernel being pulled down by gravity. Then explain that when the "bouyant" force of the bubbles is stronger than gravity, the kernel rises. The kernel falls after lots of the bubbles break when they rise to the surface.

 

The oldest kids can do all of that and perhaps try to figure out how there is gas to make the bubbles. To figure it out, they could even do a science experiment by following the steps below.

 

Try popcorn kernels in plain water.

Try kernel in a mixture of water and baking soda.

Now put some kernels in water with vinegar

None of those will show a lot of bubbles on the kernels.

Now put the kernels in seltzer water.

Seltzer water has bubbles because it is carbonated. A chemical reaction occurs when baking soda and vinegar are put together; they create carbon dioxide, the same gas dissolved in seltzer water. 

 

Kim McNeill is the editor and publisher of Macaroni Kid for lower Litchfield County/upper New Haven County CT, blogger at Hearst CT Media Group, Kim's Play Place, and freelance writer for CBS Local in Connecticut. 


Have your say

More of this week's stories


Groundhog Day ~ February 2nd

Groundhog Day ~ February 2nd

Back in the 1700's European settlers game to America and brought with them the tradition of Candlemas Day. Candlemas Day came half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Tradition says that if it was nice on that ...

Read more »

Homemade Valentines

Homemade Valentines

Here are some GREAT ideas from a fellow Macaorni Kid Publisher! This year I am determined to have my kids make their own Valentines. Every year I say we are going to do this, and every year we are those ...

Read more »

Macaroni Kid Cranston/Kent

Macaroni Kid Cranston/Kent

What a week! We finally got a fair amount of snow (which already melted) and the Patriots are heading to the Super Bowl! Between the snow, the warm weather that melted the snow and a Patriots WIN, just about everyone ...

Read more »

MARY POPPINS Takes Flight in Providence!

MARY POPPINS Takes Flight in Providence!

The MARY POPPINS ticket winner is: Lori Dorsey Congrats! You will be contacted by email with more info!Broadway's Magical Hit Musical MARY POPPINS coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center February 8th through February 19th. Amica Insurance.The entire original creative ...

Read more »

Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters

Remarkable Rookie Class Highlights Harlem Globetrotters' Arrival into Providence and you can WIN tickets to see them in action!!Globetrotters Introduce Class of Newcomers, Highlighted by the Tallest Pro Basketball Player, the Shortest Globetrotter Ever, and the Team's First Female in ...

Read more »

Treasure Buddies

Treasure Buddies

Disney's talking canine superstars are back in “Treasure Buddies,” their 6th all-new adventure. This latest story is told from the perspective of the Buddies' newest friend, a mischievous Egyptian monkey named Babi. As Babi tells us, more than 40 years ...

Read more »