PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- Every month, elementary students in PCSSD have the opportunity to read a book that incorporates a STEM is lesson. This is part of the"STEM is LIT" initiative that started in the 2021-2022 school year. For November, students read "Pop!: Otto the Kernel Who Didn't Pop" by Karen Kilpatrick.
At Pine Forest Elementary, third grade students participated in this enrichment lesson with Alpha Teacher, Debbie Jones, and 3rd Grade teacher, Anna Sands. Students discovered how and why popcorn pops and determined what happens to the mass when it is popped.
As a follow up activity, these same 3rd graders made butter by shaking a jar of heavy whipping cream until it became butter. They saw the butter milk that was there and discussed how the liquid turned into a solid, then melted the butter to put on popcorn. The excitement was evident as the butter formed in the jar. Ask a 3rd grader how it tasted!
In addition to the other popcorn activities, the 3rd grade students also popped 3 different brands of microwave popcorn and counted the "Ottos" (unpopped kernels). They did a taste test of the brands to determine their favorite one. The microwave popcorn was an overwhelming favorite over the air-popped corn.
Kindergarteners also got in on the fun by participating in a taste test of popcorn to make a graph to display their favorite flavor.