Students learn to measure volume, record/graph findings and draw conclusions based on findings.
Small group study.
Divide the class into small groups. Provide each group with a large measuring cup or marked beaker and several brands and/or varieties of popcorn (microwave or bulk popcorn for the popper).
If using bulk popcorn, students can begin by recording the volume of kernels before popping (this number should be the same for all brands/varieties). Each group then plots this initial number on a graph – one axis indicating brand names, the other axis showing volume. For microwave popcorn, students will record only popped volume.
Then, let the popping begin! To save time, consider having each group pop one brand/variety and then share results with other groups.
Students measure the popped volume of each brand/variety and plot these figures on the graph.
Ask students to identify possible reasons for differences in popping volume.