Hopping Corn

This was a really entertaining science activity meant to teach your little farmers that corn has multiple uses! With a few steps, we made popping corn become HOPPING corn!

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This corn hopped up and down repeatedly in each container for over an hour.

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It’s so much fun to watch (mesmerizing would be the best word to describe it) and it created a great opportunity to talk about gases, liquids, and solids with your budding agriculturalists. Each child first filled their jars with water and added a couple drops of food coloring.

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They then added baking soda and stirred until it was all dissolved. Following that, we added a small handful of popping corn kernels. Lastly, we added the vinegar and watched the corn start to hop up and down!  The science behind the activity is that when the baking soda and vinegar combine, they react to form carbon dioxide (CO2) gas.

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The gas forms bubbles in the water which circle around the corn kernels.

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The bubbles lift the kernels up to the surface and when they get there they pop and the kernels sink again.

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The “hopping” continues until the vinegar and baking soda have finished reacting. For us, it lasted over an hour!

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