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Carefully slit open a bag of popcorn and examine it. What is inside? You should find two different areas containing popcorn kernels – one where the kernels are surrounded by a fatty material, and one where they are loose. Take a handful of each type and put the kernels into two different glass bowls. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and cut a small slit in the top of the covering. Then try microwaving each of the bowls on high for 4 minutes. Which bowl contains more popped kernels? Which bowl has more unpopped kernels? Why do you think that’s so? Do some research on popcorn to explain what you saw in your experiment.
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Curious about what makes yeast work? This experiment will help you to figure it out. Just follow the instructions below.
1. Put three sweet mixtures – such as sugar, corn syrup, and honey – into three small cups.
2. In a form cup, mix boiling water with tap water until it reaches a temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. (Use a thermometer to make sure the water is the correct temperature.)
3. Pour out all but ½ cup of the water into a large basin or pot, leaving the last ½ cup of the water in the foam cup.
4. Mix the ½ cup of water with one packet of yeast.
5. Pour the yeast mixture into the three cups, keeping the amount in each cup even.
6. Place the cups into the basin of hot water and observe.
Which cup bubbles the most? The fastest? Why do you think this is? Do some more research on yeast to try to explain the results of your experiment.
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Next time you’re making lemonade, save some of the lemon juice to make some invisible ink. Just dip a cotton swab in the lemon juice and use it to write on paper. When the juice dries, the message will disappear. To make it reappear, quickly run a hot iron over the paper. The message will appear in brown “ink."
How does this edible science experiment work? Try repeating the same experiment with other substances, such as fruit juices, vinegar, or soda. Which substances work? Do some more research on invisible ink to find out why.