Finding the “pop” in popcorn


Alexis Nikolovski (10) measures the solution. The experiment involved using the ideal gas law.

Ruth Chen, Author

Although popcorn is a common accompaniment in the movie theater, it is usually an uncommon sight in the science lab. However, on Oct. 8, Science Club incorporated popcorn into their science experiment.

“This experiment was based on chemistry, so the goal was for them to learn about the ideal gas law, in other words, to determine the pressure it takes to pop a kernel of popcorn, on top of determining the amount of water is lost in that process,” Mrs. Katelin Ellis, Science, said.

The students were required to prepare popcorn with bunsen burners, an unfamiliar sight from typical microwave popcorn.

“Most of our chemistry labs are not really doing much. Getting to see the popcorn pop was pretty cool because when you put it in the microwave, you don’t get to see it [pop],” Michelle Buckman (11) said.

Preparing popcorn with the bunsen burner gave students a new scientific insight on the process of making popcorn.

“I learned that there was popcorn inside of the kernels, and that when it heats up, that’s when [the water] is lost,” Ana Zanza (11) said.

The success of this meeting will hopefully carry through the rest of the year.

“[A goal for this year is] to keep growing in members. This was our largest club meeting of members; we had 40 members there. I would love to see our participation grow. Also, just to keep the excitement that the club has right now going through May,” Mrs. Ellis said.

The next Science Club meeting will be on Thursday, Oct 22.