Popping Popcorn Science Experiment

Getting kids interested in science is easy when you add fun experiments like this Popping Popcorn Science Experiment to the equation!  What makes this science experiment even more fun than usual is that you get to make some yummy popcorn while you are at it! 

popping popcorn science experiment

We all know how difficult it is for kids to retain information straight out of textbooks these days, so we decided to add a fun spin to it and did this hands-on science experiment! 

Keep reading to get the step-by-step process below and don't forget to download our free printable template to record your results from this popcorn science project!

popping popcorn experiment

If you're interested in more fun science experiments for kids, here are a few of our faves! 

Popping Popcorn Science Experiment

Popcorn Experiment - Supplies:

  • 1 cup popcorn, divided
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

You will also need:

  • Microwave safe bowl with plate or lid
  • Heavy bottom pot or dutch oven with lid
  • Electric popcorn popper
  • Timer
  • popcorn experiment printable

Popcorn Science Experiment - Directions:

STEP 1: Get the printable and prepare your experiment

To take notes and be able to compare the results visually, don't forget to get a copy of our free printable available at the end of these directions. 

In this science experiment, we're going to explore and discover different things about the process of popping popcorn! 

We can learn which is the fastest way to pop popcorn as well as test the textures and flavors.

Use the timer to observe how much time passes before the first pop and the amount of time it takes for all of the popcorn to pop. 

popping popcorn science experiment printable

STEP 2: Pop the popcorn

Once you've printed out the table to record your results it is time to start experimenting. You will need to use the same amount of popcorn for each experiment to make it a fair test. We suggest 1/3 of a cup. 

Popping popcorn in the microwave

We will begin by popping popcorn using the microwave. Start by placing a cup 1/3 filled with popcorn into a microwave-safe bowl with a microwave-safe cover.

popping popcorn

Put the bowl in the microwave for 5 minutes and listen out for the first pop. Write down the time of the first pop. Let the microwave continue until you don't hear any more pops for about 2 to 3 seconds and then write down the time it has taken for the popcorn to totally pop.

If your microwave is too loud, you won't hear the popping, so keep an eye as you'll probably see it pop before hearing it! 

If you overcook it, the popcorn will burn so be careful!

Once your popcorn has popped have a taste and record the texture and flavor on your results sheet.

popcorn science

Popping popcorn on the stovetop

Place 3 tablespoons of oil into your pot and then heat the oil over medium heat. 

Once the oil is hot put 1/3 of a cup of popcorn into the pot in an even layer and place the lid on your pot.
Listen out for your popcorn starting to pop. Once your popcorn pops, make a note of the time, and remove it from the stove. 

Have a taste of your popcorn and record the texture and flavor on your results sheet.

popcorn science experiment

Popping popcorn in an electric popcorn popper

The steps are a bit easier using your electric popper. Simply add the cup with 1/3 of popcorn to the popper and follow the manufacturer's directions.  

science experiment with popcorn

Write down the time of the first pop and the total time for all the popcorn to pop. Then have a taste and record the flavor and texture of your popcorn on your results sheet. 

popcorn science project

After you have completed your popping popcorn experiment here are a few questions for you to think about: 

  • Which method of popping popcorn did you prefer?
  • Does the taste of the popcorn change depending on the cooking method?
  • Does the texture of the popcorn change depending on the cooking method?
  • Do you have a favorite popcorn?
  • Which method made the popcorn pop the fastest? Which was the slowest?


To get this popcorn science experiment printable for free click on the link below and use the discount code- popcorn. For personal or classroom use only. Not for redistribution. All images are copyrighted. Thank you.

popcorn science experiment printable

Isn't this popping popcorn science experiment awesome? We loved it and we hope you enjoy it too!

Popping popcorn science experiment for kids

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