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Chemistry Lab Research- How Water Affects Popcorn

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Nasa: National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a government sponsored foundation and has an entire section on their webpage focused on educating today’s youth. The topic of the article is how popcorn pops.

The article is an informational one on how popcorn pops.
* Popcorn was found on the east coast of Peru where they found grains of popcorn that were a 1,000 years old * Ears of popcorn were also found in the Bat Cave of West Central New Mexico that were nearly 5,600 years old. * One of the oldest finds of popcorn was made in Mexico City where 80,000-year-old fossilized corn pollen was found buried 200 feet below the city! * By the time Columbus arrived in 1492, popcorn was widespread throughout North and South America and was enjoyed by most Native American tribes. * The natives of the West Indies even tried to sell popcorn to Columbus and his crew * it wasn’t until the first Thanksgiving Feast at Plymouth, Massachusetts that the English colonists were introduced to popcorn. * Quadequina, brother of the Wampanoag chief Massasoit brought a deerskin bag of popped corn * To keep popcorn from exploding everywhere, modern popcorn poppers usually have some way to keep the popcorn contained. * There are air poppers, poppers made for the fireplace, bags designed as poppers for the microwave, foil pans designed for the stove top, and various machines that use heat and oil.

The main idea of this article is that popcorn pops because of small amounts of air in the popcorn So just how does popcorn pop? Only popcorn kernels can pop, and the secret is water. Each kernel contains a small amount of water stored in a circle of soft starch inside the hard outer casing. When heated to around 450 F, the moisture turns to steam, creating pressure within. As the pressure builds, the casing eventually gives way, and the kernel explodes and pops, allowing the water to escape as steam and turning the kernel inside out

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