Science Magic: Dancing Popcorn!
by Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator
We had a great response to our last science magic video (Plastic Bag Polymers!) so decided to share another!
Dancing Popcorn Magic
- Clear plastic cup/tall container or clear glass cup/jar
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Unpopped popcorn
- A spoon
- Fill your clear container about ½ way with water
- Put vinegar in a smaller cup
- Put baking soda in a small cup with the spoon
- Place unpopped popcorn in another small bowl
- Tell your young scientists that today you are going to make some popcorn DANCE using science!
- Invite them to put a few spoonfuls of baking soda in the cup of water and stir until it has fully dissolved
- Add a couple spoonfuls of popcorn to the baking soda mixture. Is it dancing yet?
- Make a hypothesis--what will happen when we add the vinegar?
- Carefully & slowly add the vinegar to the baking soda solution
- What happens?!
- You will notice that the popcorn starts to DANCE!
- This science magic is created using a simple chemical reaction. When we add vinegar & baking soda together--we create carbon dioxide.
- You can see this at work! If you watch the popcorn carefully, you’ll notice that it gets covered in little bubbles and it bobs up and down.
- Those bubbles are made of carbon dioxide. As they collect on the popcorn, it lifts the popcorn up to the top of the container. Once it is at the top, some of those bubbles “pop” and bring the popcorn back down again.
- This up and down motion is what makes the popcorn look like it is dancing!