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Science & Sensory: Food > Popcorn

Mason Jar Popcorn  added 2-18-02 Original Author Unknown

Need: 1 quart mason jar with lid, 2 paper towels, a few kernels of popcorn (helps if it's fresh), plastic knife or spoon, and water.

Directions: Fold the paper towels so they line the inside of the quart jar.  Slide the knife or spoon down the side between the paper towel and jar and drop popcorn kernels 1 at a time, so they are about 1/2 way down the jar.  Continue to do this around jar until you have about 6 or so kernels of popcorn.  Try to position the popcorn so it is point down.  Gently pat the paper towel to the side of the jar again and wet gently so the paper towel sticks to the side of the jar, hugging the kernel of popcorn between itself and the inside of the jar.  Put 1/8 to 1/4 inch water in the bottom of the jar, secure the lid, and put in a sunny place, turning occasionally.  In a couple of days, students can begin to see the roots, and about a day later the leaves.  Through the glass they can see how the roots reach down to the water and the leaves reach up for the sunshine.  When the leaves reach the top of the jar, carefully replant into peat pots (or eggshells!) and watch them grow.  If taken care of and moved to a garden, these will actually produce ears of popcorn!  My 3 year old loves this experiment, especially in the dreary winter months.  We made a booklet for the experiment too.  I drew the jar on several pieces of paper, and she would chart the plants' progress on that template.  We ended up with a booklet that showed how a seed turns into a plant! It's great, interactive fun that shows the foundations of reproduction, growth, and gives the child something to care for and keep lab notes on too!


 

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