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Popcorn-popping Science Fair Project!

This is a presentation on how different variables contribute to the popping time of microwavable popcorn.
by A'dria Watson on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Popcorn-popping Science Fair Project!

A'dria Watson
8th grade
Ms.Allmon A Popcorn-Popping Science Fair Project! Purpose Background Info. My purpose of this experiment was to be able to find what popcorn has the best and fastest popping time . Hypothesis I want to be able to answer this question: What popcorn size(mini or regular?) has the fastest popcorn time? My experiment will benefit family's that have "Family Movie Night" weekly and if you like to watch a movie and have popcorn accompany you. To keep you from accidentally burning a whole batch of popcorn, I have tested different sizes of popcorn (the same brand). Thank you for watching! And enjoy your popcorn :) My hypothesis is that the mini bag of popcorn will pop faster than the regular sized bag. I measured both the bags and the mini sized bag had a weight of 42.5 grams and the regular sized bag had a weight of 93.3 grams. I then hypothesized that the mini bag will have less popcorn to pop thus making the finishing time quicker than the regular sized bag. Experimental Design Constant(s): My constants continued to stay the same through out the experiment:
Microwave model
Brand of popcorn
Microwave power Dependent Variable(s): My dependent variables depended on the independent variable:
Cooking time Independent Variable(s): My independent variables weren't effected by any other variables and did not stay constant.
Size/Weight Materials 2 bags of popcorn (choose your favorite brand!) 1 mini sized bag (snack bag)
1 regular sized bag A microwave Use only 1 power setting (10)
(some microwaves may not have this setting, in that case, use your highest setting as a substitute for 10) Procedures Step 1: Gather materials (listed in the previous slide) Step 2: Set power to 10 Step 3: Unwrap the plastic covering on the popcorn bag (mini) and place it in the microwave. Step 4: Set your time however you like because you will have to listen to the popping of the popcorn to determine if it's done (I recommend setting it to about 2 or 3 minutes) Step 5: When you hear the popping slowing down to 2-3 seconds apart, stop the microwave. Make sure you record how many seconds are left! Step 6: With the remaining time, subtract the original time (before popping) from the time left (after popping) the sum is the time it took to pop the mini bag. Step 7: Repeat Steps 3-6 using the regular sized bag of popcorn. Step 8: Once you're done finding the cooking times of the popcorn, compare them and find which has a faster cooking time by dividing the seconds it took by the grams (weight) of the bags. Round to the nearest tenth. Results Even before I started my experiment my hypothesis was that the smaller bag with the least amount of weight (grams) would pop faster than the regular sized bag.
After I tested my experiment I did the math and found that the mini bag(42.5 grams) popped at about 60 seconds and I divided the two and got 1.41 grams per second. I also did that with the regular sized bag(93.3 grams) which popped at about 110 seconds. I divided the 110 by 93.3 and got 1.17 grams per second.
The mini bag pops more grams in a second than the regular bag which means it also pops faster than the regular bag. Conclusion My major results were that the mini bag of popcorn did pop faster, but it wasn't that significant.

Yes, the results supported my hypothesis because the mini bag's grams per second rate was 1.41. While the regular bag's gram per second rate was 1.17.

My background research helped my experiment and to make more accurate measurements.

A possible explanation for my results would be because the bag was smaller than the regular bag, more heat got around the mini bag's smaller sides than the regular bag with larger sides.

There were no significant errors that could have affected the experiment because the experiment was done in the same environment every time and kept it's constant.

To improve the experiment I could have tested another kind of bag and find which is faster rather than comparing just two.

If you want to study this experiment further, you can also use different microwave heating settings to see if it would effect the times of the mini bag and the regular bag. Should I use the "popcorn button"? http://ask.metafilter.com/43108/So-perfect-every-time
Using the "Popcorn" button is very risky because it isn't set to the specific popcorn brand or size. It would be best if you didn't use it unless you knew it really works with that brand of popcorn. When is the average cooking time of most popcorn? http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2091553
In this answer it takes about 3-4 minutes but because we don't know the microwave power it won't be very accurate to say that your popcorn will take that long. Bibliography geoff. (July 27, 2006) Why does my popcorn burn, and why does the “popcorn” button leave so many kernels unpopped? Message posted to: http://ask.metafilter.com/43108/So-perfect-every-time Contributing Writer. (May 24, 2010) What is the average time for a bag of popcorn to finish popping? Message posted to: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/2091553 Background Info http://www.popcorn.org/AboutUs/PopcornPoppinMonth/FunPopcornFacts/tabid/118/Default.aspx
This web page states that the "peak period for popcorn sales" for eating at home is during Autumn and Winter. When is most popcorn is eaten? http://www.squidoo.com/all-about-popcorn
This web page restates that popcorn is eaten the most during the seasons, Fall and Winter. They even have National Popcorn Popping Month in October! http://www.squidoo.com/all-about-popcorn
The reason my experiment does not use traditional ways of popping popcorn: Oil/Air popping is because popping popcorn is the #1 use for microwaves in America. Because the microwave is the desired and more familiar way f cooking popcorn, to avoid any confusion or unnecessary mess, I decided to use a microwave in my experiment. Why not cook popcorn by using oil or air popping? http://ask.metafilter.com/43108/So-perfect-every-time http://www.squidoo.com/all-about-popcorn Data Analysis Mini bag: Regular bag: The cooking time was 60 seconds. The weight was 42.5.

1. Divide 60 seconds by 42.5 grams

2. Round to the nearest hundredth

60 seconds
----------------
42. 5 grams
= 1.41 grams popped per second.
The cooking time was 110 seconds. The weight was 93.3.

1. Divide 110 seconds by 93.3 grams.

2. Round to the nearest hundredth

110 seconds
----------------
93.3 grams
= 1.17 grams popped per second

My reason for choosing this topic for my project is because my family eats A LOT of popcorn and I thought this would benefit my family and other popcorn lovers out there.
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