Try this fun dancing corn experiment! You only need corn kernels, baking soda, water and vinegar! You can make the corn kernels dance using science!
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Dancing Corn Science Experiment
In this experiment, you’ll use science to make the corn dance! You can even do this same experiment with raisins.
Supplies Needed for the Dancing Corn Experiment
– Baking Soda – we like this large bag for science activities
– Clear vase or mason jar
What is the Science?
You see the bubbling and foaming in the jar, but what is causing this reaction?
The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid and what you are seeing is an acid/base reaction. Initially, the reaction makes carbonic acid which is unstable and breaks down into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water which is what creates all of the fizzing and bubbles as the gas leaves the water.
How Does the Popcorn Dance?
As the bubbles are created, the carbon dioxide bubbles attach to the corn kernels and bring the corn kernels to the surface of the water. The bubbles pop when they reach the surface and then the popcorn kernels sink back down to the bottom of the jar. Once on the bottom they collect more carbon dioxide bubbles and the process starts again. This is what makes it look like the popcorn kernels are “dancing”.
Watch the Video Tutorial Here!
How to do the Dancing Corn Experiment
1. Add 1/4 cup of corn kernels into the jar.
If your jar is smaller, you can use less kernels.
2. Add in water to fill the jar about 3/4 of the way full.
3. Add in 1 tablespoon of baking soda and mix until almost all dissolved.
Make sure the baking soda is spread evenly across all of the corn kernels.
4. Add in 1/4 cup of vinegar.
The vinegar and baking soda reaction will happen immediately. This may cause some of the water mixture to overflow from your jar, so protect your surface. It’s best if you can place the jar in a tray in case this happens.
If it overflows, the water mixture will settle and become clear. Once clear, you will be able to start watching the corn “dance”.
Now you can watch the corn “dance”!
The vinegar and baking soda reaction will cause bubbles that will carry the corn kernels to the surface of the water. As the bubbles pop, the corn kernels will drop back down and the process will continue, making it look like they are dancing!
For more fun ideas, see all of our science experiments.