Dancing Corn (STEM)

Dancing Corn (STEM)


  • Glass jars of some sort (Mason jars work well)
  • Popping corn
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spoon 



  1. Students will break into desk groups of 4
  2. Talk with the students about the materials on their desks: what do they think they will be investigating?
  3. Begin by filling the mason jar with two cups of water
  4. Add two tablespoons of baking powder to the jar and stir to dissolve.Talk with the students about what sorts of things dissolve and what sorts of things to not
  5. Add a bit of corn to the water/baking soda mixture. Before adding the vinegar, ask the students what they think might happen?
  6. Slowly add the vinegar…what is happening? Ask students to use describing words to tell what is happening
  7. As the eruption begins to fade, talk with students about what would prolong it…could they add anything else?


Talking Points:Talk with the students about WHY this reaction happens.  Explain that it is a chemical reaction and that baking soda (base) is mixed with an acid (vinegar) they produce a gas – carbon dioxide!  The carbon dioxide bubbles lift the corn, but as the bubbles pop, the corn falls back down!


dry corn


(adapted from: littlebinsforlittlehands.com)


Grade Range: PreK-4   


Time: 30 Minutes


Synopsis: Students are given materials necessary to create a fun chemical reaction. This is a great lesson to practice observation skills and making educated guesses as to what will happen


Popcorn, STEM