Science with Shields: Popcorn on the Cob

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to pop corn on the cob.

What you need:

  • Dry corn on the cob (can find it in fall)
  • Brown paper bag
  • Microwave


Place your dry corn on the cob into the brown paper bag. Fold the bag over a few times at the top.

Then, place the bag into the microwave. Set the microwave to about 1:30 or 2:00 minutes. If you have a popcorn button, you can use that instead.

Take the bag out of the microwave when you hear the popping slowing down.


Corn is made up of starch and water. When it is heated, the water inside the kernel starts to turn to steam. The steam will expand, and tries to escape. The steam on the inside will heat the kernel, making it softer on the outside. This will allow the steam to push through and you hear the pop.

To get this to happen, you need the kernel to reach a temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit to have enough pressure inside to pop the kernel.

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