We are learning about the heating and cooling of substances in Year 1. We decided to make some popcorn and to find out what happens when the kernel is heated. Our genre focus is how to write instructions, so our teachers thought that it would be a yummy treat to make popcorn ! Look at the photos to find out how to make popcorn using a popcorn maker.
Plug the popcorn maker into the wall socket. Ask an adult to help you.
This is what we found out! Believe it or not, there is more to popcorn than just good looks, sounds, aroma and flavour – there's a lot of science in those little kernels! So, what's the secret behind those hard little kernels that suddenly burst into crispy, flavourful morsels? Popcorn is made up of starch and a small amount of moisture that is locked inside the kernel's hard shell, called the enamel coating. As the cooking temperature rises to about 450° F, the moisture inside the kernel turns to steam and pressure begins to build. The steam, now surrounded by normal-pressure air, becomes the driving force that expands the kernel. When the enamel coating cannot withstand the force any longer, it "POPS!" The starch granules do not actually explode, but expand into thin, jelly-like bubbles. Neighbouring bubbles fuse together and solidify, forming a three-dimensional network – much like a sink full of soapsuds. This is the white, fluffy, solid material we call popcorn!