Science Sunday: Popping Popcorn in Illinois

 

I was trying to think what I wanted to do with popcorn late one night, and all I kept thinking of was charting what their favorite flavors were, and that didn’t sound exciting.  It sounded boring, mainly because I’d done that a lot when I was teaching public school.

 

Then in a flash of insight I popped out of bed and grabbed some bowls and pour 1/4 cup of popcorn into three bowls.  I started soaking one in water, another in oil, and left the third plain for a control.  About halfway through I had a vague memory of Almost Unschoolers doing something similar, so I looked up and they did an experiment with strawberry extract.  Interestingly enough we had very different results.

 

The next day at geography co-op we read about popcorn and how each one has a little drop of water in it.  Then we predicted which would pop best.

 

The majority thought the water soaked popcorn would pop best, but we had one holding out for our control and one for the oil.

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There was a lot of very excited watching of the popcorn popping.  It amused me to see my kids who normally ignore our popcorn popper absolutely enthralled by it.

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From left to right: oil, water, control.  The oil and control popped about the same amount (I got flustered getting ready to leave and left my giant measuring cup at home).  There was mixed feelings on which of them tasted better, but it leaned more towards the oil one.

 

Everyone was very surprised by the result of the water one.  It didn’t pop at all.  The kernel size was noticeably bigger and apparently it didn’t react well to absorbing all that water.

 

Our results are different that the google results I got when trying to find the science behind this.  Or the “best popcorn secret,”  I’m guessing the difference is don’t soak it for over 12 hours, that’s the difference.

 

So, do you think I’m right, it’s the extra time soaking that makes the difference?

 

Let’s see what others did this week:

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational shared Origami Bats, I wish I was good at origami.

 

Enjoying the Journey shared her tips for making rock candy.  One of the rare times someone has shared it and the project worked right.

 

Homeschool Mo shared her preschool flower studies, I love the flowers they made to go with it.

 

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Illinois: Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers

On my list of president’s I admire is Abraham Lincoln, I think he’s on everyone’s list though, so that’s not all that remarkable.  As an odd factoid there was a photographer who got a rare photo of soon to be President Lincoln shortly before he headed to Washington.  He printed dozens, maybe even a few hundred prints of that picture thinking he had made his fortune.

 

Unfortunately for him, President Lincoln had since grown a beard and no one believed it was him.  So he was not able to sell all of the pictures he had printed.

 

And in writing this, I have now just spent 15 minutes trying to find something to back me up on this story.  I’ve found the picture taken, right after he had won, but nothing with the story….

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Well, this is the story of the little girl who inspired him to grow that beard.  Here’s two links giving a little more information: Lincoln’s Beard and an Eleven year old girl’s letter.  If you read those links or do some of your own search, you’ll discover that up until shortly before he grew his beard, most American men of the time were beardless.

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Well, in the middle of reading that story, we had to stop and write our own letter to Mister Lincoln.

 

What would you suggest Mister Lincoln do to get people to vote for him?

 

I loved Princess’ answer:

Dear President Lincoln,

I think you should smile more, then people would vote for you.

love, Princess.

 

Seriously adorable, not just my cute little girl, the book is too.

 

So what advice would you have given then presidential candidate Lincoln?

 

I’m gonna link up to these fun parties:
learning laboratory at mama smilesShibley Smiles

Illinois: Hog Music

I must say the children’s librarian at our library orders some of the best books.  They may not have the most obvious way to do an art project or writing project connected to it, but the stories are wonderful.
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A little girl and her family move out West to Illinois.  Her aunt refuses to move out there because there’s nothing out there but “wind and hog music.”  The aunt sends a small present out to her niece, but along the way it falls out of the mail wagon.  This is the story of how the present got there and what was added along the way.

Which of course led to the question, what would you pack to send as a birthday present to someone far away, and what would you have added in to the package you found?
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Well as we snacked on our popcorn (you’ll see in a few weeks about that).

We talked about what would we give her and what would we add into a present that was about the size of a shoe box if we were able to do so.

Can you guess what the boys added?
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Surprisingly it wasn’t just weapons, but there were quite a few as you would expect from a group of mostly boys who all love Lego Ninjago.  My boys also added stuffed animals.  Lots of stuffed animals, and a few weapons, and food.  They had popcorn on their mind.
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Meanwhile Princess happily colored away and drew ribbons and dresses and dolls for her imagined friend who was getting all of this packed up in a shoe box.

As I was thinking about this, it would be a good planning project for Operation Christmas Child.

The printable we used can be found here: Hog Music printable.

I’m gonna link up to these fun parties:
learning laboratory at mama smilesShibley Smiles