Center Focus

Popping Popcorn

  1. For this center, you will need to pop kernel corn while your students are observing. In order for your students to get the most out of this experience, you should use a portable stove and pan with a clear lid.
  2. Have the group of students observe the steps that the kernel goes through to become a piece of popcorn.
  3. Before discussing the science behind the popping, have the kids generate some of their own theories about what is happening.
  4. The popping of the kernels is due to the pressure build-up within the kernels themselves. In each kernel there is a tiny amount of moisture. As the kernels are heated, the moisture "wants" to escape--this causes the popping. As the moisture explodes from the kernel, the corn is turned inside out...and the fluffy white popcorn appears.
  5. Make sure to have some butter and salt handy!

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