Science Projects for Third Grade: Experimenting with Cereal
Ask students if they have ever eaten a bowl of soggy cereal? If any of them answer yes, then ask how long it took for the cereal to get soggy and what kind of cereal they were eating. If you have multiple answers to this question have students think about why some cereals get soggy quicker than others. Let them know that they are going to do an experiment to see why certain cereals get soggy faster.
- Bowl of Chex
- Bowl of Corn Flakes
- Bowl of Cheerios
- Bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios
- Bowl of Lucky Charms
- Five Measuring cups
- Plastic Spoons
- Stop watch
- Set all of the bowls of cereal before the students without adding the milk, yet.
- Have the children practice observation and draw a conclusion. In other words, have the students examine the cereals in the bowl and create a hypothesis as to which bowl will get soggy the fastest and which one will stay crunchy. They must give a sentence or two as to why they believe their hypothesis is correct. This information should be recorded into a notebook.
- Choose students to stand behind each of the bowls with a measuring cup that contains exactly one cup of milk. To have a fair experiment, exact amounts of each must be used to compare results.
- Say, "Go," and have the students pour the milk into the bowls and start the stop watch.
- Designate five students to be taste testers. At three minute intervals, have one student at each bowl remove a piece of cereal and try to squish it between their hands to feel how soft it has gotten. Have them taste it to see how soggy it has gotten. All students should keep track of the findings in their notebook. Using their sense of touch and taste, will help to analyze how soggy the cereal has become.
- Continue to check a piece of cereal from each bowl every three minutes until the last bowl has been deemed soggy. Stop checking a bowl after it has been found to be completely soggy.
Review the classes findings. Draw a chart on the board that shows which cereal stayed crunchy the longest and which one got soggy the fastest. Ask the students if they notice anything about the shape of the cereal that became soggy fast verses the shape of the cereal that stayed crunchy. Ask them if they were surprised by anything they learned. Have them draw a conclusion in their notebooks stating why or why not their hypothesis was correct or incorrect.