How’d They Do It?

When it comes to science, I’m afriad my beaker is half empty. I am drawn to the arts and not the science, but being a mom I feel it is important to share the whole world with my kids and not just the parts I know and enjoy myself. So momma day science projects are a way for us to learn together.

Recently, two things have introduced themselves into my daily routine. The first is the second edition of the Laura Ingalls Wilder series Farmer Boy. Rowan and I have been reading it every night mezmirized by how my Almonzo Wilder can eat.


The second is a YouTube station called Smarter Every Day. Destin is the science teacher I wish I would have had. The lessons are still over my head, but they are interesting, Destin is comical, and they inspire me to ask questions and think creatively.  Do yourself a favor and like his page.  I promise you will learn something.

So how do these new additions to my life create a momma day? The answer comes from our main character Almonzo and a bit a trivia he shares in the third chapter. He is eating popcorn and day dreaming about a big glass of milk to go with the popcorn when he thinks about an interesting science experiment. He said that popcorn is the only thing you can add to a full glass of milk that won’t make it spill over the edge of the cup. Rowan and I stopped, looked at each, and pondered this idea. Could you really take a full glass of popcorn and add it to a full glass of milk without spilling the milk? Was this scientifically possible? We had to find out.

20150807_120616You will need:

  • Cookie sheet
  • Two glasses
  • Milk
  • Popcorn

Place the cups on the cookie sheet. Fill one cup to the brim with milk and the other to the brim with popcorn. Then, one piece at a time, add the popcorn to the glass of milk. Watch and be amazed!


We placed every popped kernel into the glass of milk and nothing happened. The milk didn’t move. No spills, no movement. It was an uneventful science project until Rowan bumped the cookie sheet and spilled the milk. How is this possible? Well, after a bit of searching we discovered density was our answer. The volume of the popcorn is SO full of air the liquid just fills it up. Try the same project replacing the popcorn with bread and you have yourself a messy situation. Just remember not to cry over your spilled milk.

Rowan and I learned something new and had a yummy snack too.


If I went back to high school now, knowing what I know about life, I would be a better student.  Momma days like these are good for the soul and easy on the clean up. It is one thing to know the information, it is another challenge entirely to explain the ‘why’ of that particular information. It shows how difficult parenting can be . . . every child’s favorite question is why!

Now, it is time to build a bridge for our matchbox cars to travel from table to counter without having to fly.  Scientist, engineer . . . nope, just call me mom.

Enjoy the science, enjoy the popcorn, enjoy your time together!



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