A whole science lesson in one pop, and a healthy snack for all.
Before tucking into this popular campfire sharing snack, take some time to consider what is happening to change a kernel of corn into a piece of popcorn when it is heated. There’s lots of thinking time to come up with some ideas about the science of heating and changes. The water inside the kernel is being heated into steam, causing the mini explosion as it tries to escape the confines of the kernel casing.
Cooking popcorn on a campfire:
Challenge children to cook popcorn on the campfire by giving them two sieves, a wooden pole and some wire to create the popcorn cooker themselves.
Place a handful of kernels in a sieve. Attach another sieve with wire to make a sphere. Add a wooden handle before holding over the fire embers to heat.
Maths challenge: What happens to the weight of corn kernels after they have popped?
KS1: Find out how materials can be changed by squashing, bending, twisting and stretching
KS2: explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible, including changes associated with burning
KS3: SCIENCE – Sc3 Materials and their properties and Sc4 Physical processes