Popcorn Science Experiments

Popcorn Science Experiments: Using the Scientific Method

Popcorn science experiments using the scientific method? Yes! Here’s what I mean.

Before we talk about popcorn science experiments, let’s take a look at the scientific method. There are some variations.

Here’s the first suggested method:


  •         Decide on a topic
  •         Narrow the topic to a specific question


  •         A possible solution to the problem based on your knowledge and research


  •         Your general statement of how you think the outcome will be


  •         This is the part where you test your hypothesis
  •         This is the tool that you design to find out if your ideas about your topic is right or wrong


  •         You can reject your hypothesis
  •         You cannot reject your hypothesis

Here’s a variation:

1.   Make an observation

2.   Think of Interesting questions

3.   formulate an hypothesis

4.   Develop testable predictions

5.   Gather data to test predictions

6.   Develop general theories

Another procedure:

1.   Ask a question (How, what, when who, which, why, or where?)

2.   Do background research (Use the library and the internet to research what is known)

3.   Construct a hypothesis (If____then______will happen)

4.   Test with an experiment (Do the experiment the same way at least 3 times)

5.   Analyze Data (Collect your measurements and analyze them)

6.   Draw conclusions (Did the results of your experiment support your hypothesis?)

Simplified version:

1.   Ask a question

2.   Research your topic

3.   State your hypothesis

4.   Test your hypothesis

5.   Analyze your date

6.   Report your results

Communicate your results (In a written report or a display board)

Scientific Method:

The Problem

The Hypothesis

The Variables—What can you change

Background Research

The Control

The Experiment



Repeat the experiment at least 3 times to get accurate results

The Conclusion

Biography and References

Remember, when using the scientific method, the results must be measurable.

Popcorn Science Experiments

Next, let’s look at some possible experiments using the scientific method and popcorn.

Here are some questions you can ask about popcorn.

Do white or yellow kernels pop better? You will need to make a decision about which pops better—that becomes your hypothesis.

Does popcorn popped in a microwave container pop better than popcorn popped in a hot-air popper? Your hypothesis could be: more popcorn kernels will pop when popped in a microwave popper than a hot air popper.

Does one brand of popcorn pop more kernels than another brand? Your hypothesis would be that one brand (say, Orville Redenbacher) pops more kernels than another brand (say, Jiffy Pop).

Does a commercial microwave bag of popcorn pop as well as popcorn popped in some other way (hot air popper, electric popper, stove top popper).

Does a commercial microwave bag of popcorn pop as well as popcorn popped in a microwaveable container?

Does the temperature of the kernels affect the amount that pops? Your hypothesis might be that popcorn stored in the refrigerator will pop more kernels that popcorn stored in the cabinet.

Does the amount of moisture in the kernels affect how many kernels pop?

  1. Place 100 kernels in an oven at 220 degrees for two hours to dry out the kernels.
  2. Soak another 100 kernels in water for two hours.
  3. Use a third group of 100 kernels that is not dried out or soaked in water.
  4. Then pop all three groups in a hot air popper.

If you color the kernels will the popped popcorn be that color?

Does popcorn from a commercial microwave popcorn bag pop as well as popcorn placed in a brown paper bag popped in the microwave?

All of these ideas can be researched by using the scientific method.

Popcorn Science Experiments: Communicating Results

Results can be communicated in a written report.

Results can also be displayed in a graph format.

Have you created a popcorn science experiment?

Tell us about your popcorn science experiment. What was your hypothesis? What were your procedures? What was your conclusion? How did you present your findings? You can upload pictures of your experiment.

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For more information about planning a science fair project check out this link