Juliana Pastick, Adriana Costache Phoenix 11 June 8th, 2011 To understand if different amounts of oil play a role in the number of popcorn kernels that pop. I hope to learn how much oil should be used for the maximum number of popcorn kernels to pop. Too much oil can lead to weight gain. Too little oil will be a waste of money spent on the popcorn. Information on independent variable (IV) • Cooking oil is typically a liquid at room temperature. Its specific heat capacity is low, which means that it heats up fast. The boiling point of corn oil is very high (246º C), which is what makes it good for cooking food quickly. Information on dependent variable (DV) • Popcorn results when a corn kernel is heated, puffs up and “explodes” out of the hull. Information on how IV and DV relate • When exposed to heat, the small amount of water in a popcorn kernel expands very quickly, causing the kernel to burst. The kernels burst at different rates depending on their size and the amount of water in the kernel. More heat should result in more kernels popped. Identify control (if any) • None Identify fixed variables • Number of popcorn kernels, type of oil, type of popcorn kernels Since popcorns pop when they are surrounded by hot oil, if the amount of oil is increased, then the more popcorn kernels will pop. 12 bags of popcorn (93g each) 200mL of Wesson canola oil 1 large pot with cover 1 stove top (or hot plate, if no stove) 1 100mL graduated cylinder 1. Place large pot on stove. 2. Add 5mL of oil to the large pot. 3. Open popcorn bag and count 100 kernels. 4. Pour the 100 kernels into the pot. 5. Turn on stove and place cover on pot. 6. Let popcorns pop for 10 minutes. 7. Count number of popcorns that popped. 8. Repeat steps 2-7 with 15mL and 30mL of oil. 9. Repeat all steps another four times. 10. Record data in data table. The Effect of Different Amounts of Oil on the Number of Popcorn Kernels that Pop Amount of Oil (mL) Average popped kernels Number of popped kernels 1 2 3 4 5 43 56 40 48 47 15 95 86 93 90 91 30 72 64 86 60 71 The Effect of Different Amoutns of Oil on the Number of Popped Kernels 100 90 Average kernels popped 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 5 15 Amount of Oil (mL) 30 Quantitative Discrete data Mean is represented as the measure of central tendency No consistent pattern 15mL of oil yielded the highest number of popped kernels Data partially supported the hypothesis 15mL was enough to coat every kernel lightly, enough to make all pop. 10mL of oil not enough to coat all kernels. 30mL coated kernels too thickly, therefore needing more heat to pop kernels. More heat means more time needed for popping. One source of error was not waiting long enough for pan to cool down after doing a trial. Wait for pan to cool down before running another trial. Do more trials. A large percentage of the US population is overweight. Popcorn is a popular treat at the homes of consumers and at movie theatres. Knowing the best amount of oil to use will: • Lower the amount of oil needed and therefore save money. • Prevent a popular treat from being unhealthy.