Science with Shields: Episode #46 – Iron Cereal


ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to find iron in your cereal. 

What you need: 

  1. Big glass bowl
  2. Warm Water
  3. Magnet
  4. Plastic Spoon
  5. Iron Enriched Cereal (I used Wheat Chex)


Before you start, take your cereal and crunch it up on a plate, run the magnet over the cereal, does any stick to the magnet? If it does, it has iron in it. 

Pour about a quarter of a box of cereal into a large glass bowl. Next, add two and a half cups of warm water and mix with a plastic spoon. Keep mixing for around 10 minutes and be careful not to spill anything out of the bowl. Now, put your magnet into the bowl and keep stirring for another ten minutes. Once you are done mixing, let it sit for five minutes. After the five minutes is up, remove your magnet and carefully was the cereal off the magnet and check out what is left! You should see the silver iron stuck onto the magnet. 


Cereal makers add minerals to keep us healthy. Obviously, we can’t eat nails for breakfast, but they add tiny little pieces of iron to the cereal that we can digest and that is good for us. Typically you cannot even see it in the cereal. When we use the magnet, it collects those tiny pieces and we can see it. Why does the iron stick to the magnet? It has to do with electrons. Iron has an unpaired electron and that unpaired electron attracts it to the magnet. I found this experiment from a book called Real Chemistry Experiments 40 Exciting STEAM Activities for Kids written by Dr. Zovinka a professor at Saint Francis University. Thanks Dr. Zovinka for the experiment!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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