Popcorn is fun to make, healthy to eat, and a great ingredient for science experiments. Whether you are entertaining preschoolers or teaching middle-schoolers the scientific method, you'll find what you're looking for in these popcorn pages.
The games are fun, the snacks are tasty, and there's even a smattering of science to explore at Jolly Time Popcorn Kids Club. If you're looking for recipes, you'll find some in the Kids Recipe Box and others in Cozy Kitchen. Best click is the Science of Popcorn section, where you'll learn what makes popcorn pop, and read about the history of popcorn with a timeline that starts 82,000 years ago. For teachers, the Poppin' Library has lesson plans filed by subject.
Don't let the plain looking entrance fool you, there is plenty here for elementary-age students to learn about corn production and corn products. Each of the three activity groups (too bad they don't have better titles) is divided into four pages of learning, experiments and multiple-choice quizzes. Don't miss the microwave recipe for creating biodegradable plastic from corn starch and corn oil. You'll find it in Activities Group 3: Become an Environmental Scientist. The teacher guides include a glossary and answer keys.
My pick of the day site is published by the Popcorn Board, an association created to increase popcorn sales. From the very first pop to the very last kernel, there is fun behind every click. Best educational nuggets are found in the Encyclopedia Popcornica, where you can explore the hows and whys of popcorn science, history and trivia. "Americans consume 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn annually or 58 quarts per man, woman and child. It is one of the most wholesome and economical foods available."
Which popcorn cooking method pops the highest volume? How does the moisture level of corn kernels affect the texture of popped corn? In addition to classroom use, I think anyone of these seven easy experiments would be a fun birthday party activity for young scientists. But my advice to middle-school students looking for award-winning science fair ideas is to only use these experiments to jumpstart your own scientific creativity.