STEM Activity: Hopping Corn
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Welcome back STEM Sparkers! Hope you're ready for the perfect Thanksgiving science experiment: hopping corn!
You'll Need a clear glass container popping corn water baking soda white vinegar food coloring (optional)
Instructions 1) Fill your glass container with water and add a couple drops of food coloring.
2) Add your baking soda and stir well until it is all dissolved.
3) Add a small handful of popping corn kernels.
4) Add the vinegar and watch the corn start to hop up and down!
The corn will hop up and down repeatedly in your container for over an hour. It’s so much fun to watch (mesmerizing would be the best word to describe it). The experiment creates a great opportunity to talk about gases, liquids, and solids with your child.
Basically, the science behind the activity is that when the baking soda and vinegar combine, they react to form carbon dioxide (CO2) gas. The gas forms bubbles in the water, which enclose the corn kernels. The bubbles lift the kernels up to the surface, and when the kernels get to the surface, the bubbles pop, and the kernels sink again.