Published on February 7, 2008
Slide 1: The Effect of Space Conditions on Popcorn Prepared by: Max H. Mitchell III and James Powell Project Conducted by: Cynthia Spraggins and the students of Eastway Elementary Phenix City, Alabama Slide 2: Contents Project Information Project Description Experiment Questions Results Conclusions Slide 3: 3 Project Information Flight Opportunity: SEM Satchel on Space Station (Open Enrollment) Experiment Name: “The Effect of Space Conditions on Popcorn” Date of Submittal: Tuesday, Dec 20 16:31:53 2005 Conducted by: Eastway Elementary, 4601 Buena Vista Rd., Columbus, GA, 31907 Project Head: Cynthia Spraggins Email : [email protected] Phone : 334-297-3067 Slide 4: Introduction NASA developed an educational program for kids who want to learn more about space by creating experiments that might fly on the space shuttle. The program is called the Space Experiment Module (SEM) which focuses on the science of zero gravity and micro gravity. With support from the Columbus High Space Program and co sponsors Dr. Chris Spraggins and Mr. Luther Richardson, the experiment was able to get off the ground. Eastway Elementary’s proposal was 1 of 20 chosen to participate in the SEM program under the flight opportunity “SEM Satchel on Space Station (Open Enrollment)”. Slide 5: Information of Participants A team of second grade students from a Title I school, Eastway Elementary, will design and integrate this experiment. Five students selected on the basis of science scores and past science projects will lead their class in conducting this experiment. Mentoring the experiment will be Cynthia Spraggins, a public school teacher with 28 years teaching experience. Slide 6: Student Team Leaders Second Graders: Samantha Hall and Jastonie Hill Third Graders: Alex Smith and Micha Jordan Columbus High Seniors: Emily Spraggins and Jerry Chapman Slide 7: Previous Project Knowledge Popcorn is the product of a small-scale explosion. Popcorn kernels contain moisture. When the kernel is heated to about 400 degrees, the moisture turns to steam, expands, and tries to escape. When enough pressure is accumulated the kernel explodes and results in edible popcorn. Slide 8: Project Purpose The purpose of this experiment is to determine the effect of space conditions on popcorn kernels. These conditions include solar radiation, microgravity, and the launch conditions of vibration and hyper gravity. Slide 9: Project Questions · Which of the samples produced the largest popped pieces? · Which type of popcorn takes up more room, normal or “space corn”? · Which type of popcorn had the fewest unpopped kernels?· Is there a difference in the taste of the samples? Slide 10: Hypothesis Prolonged space conditions could have an effect on the moisture content of seeds such as popcorn. Experiments involving these seeds may be critical in determining which type of plant seeds are suitable for future space flight and use. Slide 11: Variables Independent Variables Percentage of popped seeds the volume of popped seeds whether the two groups may be distinguished on the basis of taste Dependent Variables solar radiation vibration hyper gravity microgravity as compared to average earth conditions Slide 12: Description a.) 100 popcorn seeds selected for this experiment will be launched in a dry condition and placed within NASA approved polycarbonate capsules. Capsule characteristics - are clear, sealable plastic vials, 2.54 cm in diameter and 7.62 cm in depth, with a 1.27 cm diameter neck opening. The total capsule volume is 26.3 mL and weighs 20 grams Slide 13: Description b.) Two sets of three capsules will be prepared to serve as experimental and control groups. A control set of each culture will be prepared and remain in the classroom until the experiment return. Slide 14: Balloon Flight In New Mexico, NASA loaded eight vials of 161 -177 Thrifty Made popcorn kernels on a high altitude balloon The balloon soared to about 122,000 ft roughly equivalent to 20,000 ft in space Flight time was scheduled to be 24 hours but due to rough weather conditions the flight time was cut to around 5 hours Slide 15: Results from Experiment Normal popcorn: The average popped weight was 25.8 grams The average volume of was extrapolated to be 1056.2 ml An average of 10 “old maids” per trial were produced Space popcorn: The average popped weight was 27.8 grams The average volume was found to also be 1056.2 ml No “old maids” were produced Slide 16: Project Conclusions Which of the samples produced the largest popped pieces? “Space corn” proved to produce the largest popped pieces by 1.94 g/kernel. Which type of popcorn takes up more room, normal or “space corn”? Results concluded that there was no difference in the total volume of popcorn. Slide 17: Project Conclusions b. Which type of popcorn had the fewest unpopped kernels? The “space corn” did not create a single “old maid” or unpopped kernel opposed to the normal corn which produced an average of 10 a trial. Is there a difference in the taste of the samples? The “space corn” was found to be little chewier and had a lighter texture. Slide 18: Summary Project Information and Team Project Purpose Project Description Experiment Questions Results and Conclusions Slide 19: Questions?