# Real scientists measure metric.

If you want your experiments to have professional flair, you'll measure metric. Here are some brain-tickling activities to help you get the hang of it.

MASS MARKETING

Find out: How does popping affect the mass and volume of popcorn kernels?

MATERIALS

* Unpopped popcorn kernels

* balance * 100ml graduated cylinder hot-air popcorn popper.

PROCEDURE

1. Using the balance, find the mass of 50 unpopped kernels. Record your result.

2. Find the volume of the 50 unpopped kernels by measuring them in the graduated cylinder. Record your result.

3. Predict: When you pop the kernels, will the mass increase, decreae, or remain the same? Estimate: What will the mass of the popped kernels be? Repeat prediction and estimation for volume.

4. Pop app. 100 kernels according to the directions on the popper or popcorn package.

5. Randomly pick out 50 popped kernels, being careful not to break them. Find their total mass. Record.

6. Use the graduated cylinder to find the total volume of popped kernels. Record.

CONCLUSIONS

What happened to the mass? What happened to the volume? Can you explain these results?

DON'T STOP NOW!

Different kinds of popcorn make different shapes when popped. The two main shapes are "mushroom" (a) and "butterfly" (b). Which do you have?

Which would you be better if you wanted to sell bags of popcorn? Popcorn balls?