Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Science is a fascinating subject, but sometimes requires several hands on materials and preparation. However, us busy moms don’t have much time or money to spend of fancy science materials. That’s why I love this super simple project, the Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment.  Read on to find out just how easy and very few materials you actually need. 

Science is not a subject I excel in. I enjoy reading about and talking about this subject but when it comes to science experiments, I enlist the assistance of my husband. If he can make something blow up, dissect something, or take part in something that is gross to the average person, he’s all in. When he’s all in, the kids are all in.

It’s not that I’m not interested in Science. I totally am. I love learning new facts and interesting things just like the next person, it’s just that I never really had the opportunity to really dig my hands into everything that Science entailed when I was growing up.

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Now that I’m an adult, I truly enjoy learning with my kiddos just as much as they do. (That’s our little secret, I don’t want them to know I’m learning right along with them…haha)

Lately, I’ve been sharing some science projects you can do in your own home easily! So these discussions are just as much for me as they are for you, my dear readers! I hope the ideas shared, book listsand unit studies help to give you ideas of things you can do in your own homeschool!

 

Easy Science Experiment Resources

And just remember, this subject is so fun, inventive and imaginative that it’s literally possible to learn and explore something new each and every day! Have fun opening up the world of Science to your children.

What they see in front of their eyes in their personal surroundings is wonderful, but when the magic of Science starts knocking at the door, your children will learn that there is so much more to this amazing world

 

Here are some of our favorite Science books! 

The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You!The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments 101 Great Science Experiments101 Great Science ExperimentsEverything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks)Everything You Need to Ace ScienceThe Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young ScientistsThe Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young ScientistsKitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the House (Lab Series)Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family Friendly Experiments from Around the House (Lab Series)365 Simple Science Experiments With Everyday Materials365 Simple Science Experiments With Everyday Materials. So much fun.

Read: Ways to Make Learning the Periodic Table Fun! PLUS- Free unit Study! 

 

Popcorn Salt Science Experiment

Let’s dig deep into some exciting experiments with this super fun popcorn and salt Science Experiment!

Popcorn is one of America’s favorite snack foods. It has been around for a long time! (It’s really popular on movie nights in our house, for sure!) American history alone dates popcorn back to the days of pilgrims when they discovered if they left corn on the fire, fluffy white yummy goodness was made!

I personally LOVE popcorn and I go almost weekly to our local theater just to fill a bucket and bring it home. Don’t judge. (Now that you know this is an option, I bet you’ll start doing it, too…)

Technically, I could make it here in my Instant Pot or on my stove top, but I must confess – movie theater popcorn is my weakness! I can’t explain what makes it so wonderful…oh wait, yes I can. The magical movie theater butter!

Using popcorn for a home science project a cheap and fun way to teach kids! I hope you enjoy this project and make memories that will last! By the way, if you take pictures I would love to see them! Join our group above and feel free to share!

Using popcorn for a home science project a cheap and fun way to teach kids! I hope you enjoy this project and make memories that will last! By the way, if you take pictures I would love to see them! Join our group above and feel free to share!

 
Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

 

Simple Popcorn & Salt Science Materials Needed 

This experiment is so simple, you only need two ingredients in a jar!

  • 16 oz glass jar and lid (I used a 16 mason jar, lid, and ring like pictured below)
  • 1 C. table salt
  • 1/4 C. popcorn kernels

Ball Pint Jar, Regular Mouth, Set of 2Ball Pint Jar, Regular Mouth, Set of 2

 

Easy Popcorn & Salt Science Experiment Directions

1)  Pour the salt & popcorn kernels into the jar and seal with the lid.

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

2) Roll the jar on a flat surface so the salt and popcorn mix together.
 
Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment
3) Turn the jar upright and gently tap in on a flat surface. Watch what happens to the popcorn.
 
Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment
 
Here’s the short version of the video for this craft. For the long version, watch it on my Awe Filled Homemaker YouTube Channel. By the way, I’d love to have you subscribe to my Awe Filled Homemaker YouTube Channel while you’re there.
 

Free Scientific Method Worksheet to use along with the popcorn & salt science experiment! Don’t forget to print it! 

 
Now it is time to think about what was learned. Remember in Science that a hypothesis is a well thought out prediction. I have a FREE Scientific Method Worksheet that will help in creating your hypothesis. Just click below to get yours
scientific method worksheet

 Now is the time to write out your hypothesis for Popcorn & Salt Science Experiment! 

In order to get your kiddos thinking about their own scientific thought process, it’s always a good idea to ask them some questions about the latest experiment.

One question example you could ask after completing this Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment is:

 
Q: Does the popcorn and salt stay mixed? 
 
Parents- here is the answer to have on hand-
 
A: The popcorn and salt actually become sorted. Tapping the jar against a flat surface loosens the salt so it falls below the popcorn to form a solid layer whereas the popcorn rises to the top of the salt.
 
Don’t limit the follow-up Q and A session to just one question! Have fun asking their thought process from beginning to end.
 
 
Some other questions to consider asking for this popcorn & salt science experiment? 
 
  • Did the experiment end up how they thought it would?
 
  • How close was their initial hypothesis to the actual results?
 
  • What would they change about the experiment if they could to get a different outcome?
 
Use the love and excitement of Science as a great way to open up the doors to communicate about the results! It’ll bring a whole other component to the end results that you’ll love as well!
 
I sure  hope you enjoyed this Popcorn & Salt Science Experiment! 
 
Don’t forget to print off the instructions to have handy! 

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Popcorn and Salt Science Experiment

Let’s dig deep into Science experiments with this super fun popcorn and salt Science Experiment!

Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour

Materials

  • 16 oz glass jar and lid
  • 1 C. table salt
  • 1/4 C. popcorn kernels

Instructions

  1. Pour the salt & popcorn kernels into the jar and seal with the lid. 
  2. Roll the jar on a flat surface so the salt and popcorn mix together. 
  3. Turn the jar upright and gently tap in on a flat surface. Watch what happens to the popcorn.
  4. Now it is time to think about what was learned. Remember in Science that a hypothesis is a well thought out prediction.
  5. Q: Does the popcorn and salt stay mixed? 
 
 

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24 Comments

  1. I’m thinking of doing this for our school science night! But my questions is WHY does the salt fall to the bottom and the popcorn rise? I would think the popcorn is heavier…..

    1. It’s not about weight, but size. Because the salt particles are smaller, they can slip through the gaps between the popcorn and sink to the bottom, laveing the popcorn at the top.

      1. the corn has a lower density than the salt, it floats to the top. the shaking is just to overcome friction like oil on water.

    2. Salt is more dense than popcorn. Popcorn has more air space within it, allowing it to come to the surface. A better way to show this density lesson is using various liquids: water vs soap, oil, syrup. Even a few drops of food coloring is more dense than just water which causes the food coloring to sink to the bottom of a glass of water.
      – the Elementary Science Lady

      1. The popcorn & salt are both solids so it is actually the size. The salt slides right through the creases between the popcorn kernels gradually elevating the popcorn to the top as the salt slides underneath.

    3. Because the kernels are rounded they leave too much open space between one another. This allows the grains of salt which are smaller to fall through the cracks to the bottom.

    4. Salt grains are smaller than popcorn. Salt fills in the spaces between the popcorn kernals

    5. The salt particles are smaller and lighter so they fall through the gap between the pop corn. The corn doesn’t actually move up buy because they are larger they don’t move past the salt

      1. This is a brilliant illustration for church youth ; even adults could benefit from this illustration. Thank you

    1. This lesson reminded me of an object lesson. I can’t remember which specific things they used, maybe marshmallows and rice. You put the marshmallows or the popcorn in and say it is the important things. God, family, scriptures…Then add the salt and you can fit more in. But if you put the little things first, there is no room for the important things. This video uses golf balls and stones and wheat. It isn’t specifically Christian oriented, but the idea is the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0hqBIugr7I. Here is another one. I would use water instead of beer maybe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p0UsghdF6A

    2. I would talk about how without having God in our lives we can fall through the cracks of life just like the popcorn.

  2. Cool— how long does it take for the popcorn to rise to the top?

    Thanks for your time and great list of books!

    Joy in your serving!
    Sharon

    1. I’m a chemist and the solution is that it’s the size of the material determines. Smaller grains (salt) can move more easily past the salt, but the larger grains (corn) cannot slip through the salt. You can try this experiment with golf balls and sugar to refute the idea that it’s related to density. Similarly, try it with rocks, pebbles and sand.

        1. I don’t know about the density of sugar vs golf balls, but a jar of different sized pebbles works the same way and they would, if all made of the same materials, be the same density. This also works the different sizes of all glass or all plastic beads. Again, they are all made of the same materials.

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