Potato chip is undoubtedly the most popular snack across the World. Combing STEM science activity with Potato chips is probably the most delicious way of learning!!
Yes! We are going to experiment with a Potato chips bag. This cool STEM science activity for kids answers many questions around the potato chips bag. And as a bonus, your kid gets to devour the potato chips at the end of this STEM Science activity. A total win-win!!
Potato Chips STEM Science Activity for Kids
Let’s start with chips bag itself. You will need two of them. Now, the first thing any curious mind (a.k.a children) notice is how the crisps are packed. Once you open the bag, you find it is almost half-empty. So what’s really going on here? Are the food companies trying to trick you?
Well! Actually not! This cool activity will help you understand the science behind Potato chips packaging. Take two potato chips bags of the same brand. Poke the un-opened bag with your finger. Apparently there is lot of air packed, with the chips, as well.
Take a push pin and poke a small hole at the edge of one Potato chips bag. Press the bag gently to push the air out of the hole. Once the bag has deflated, you are ready for fun!
Take the deflated bag and play potato chip bag cricket with it (it is just like balloon cricket, just replace the balloon with the deflated potato chips bag). After you and your kids have played for good 5-10 minutes, time to replace the bag with the regular potato chips bag.
Now, this bag is not deflated and that is how the chips are sold in the super-market, without any tinkering with the packaging. Play for an equivalent length of time to keep the experiment parameters in control.
Once you are done, time to open the chips bag. Can you see any difference in the chips from the bags?
Do your kids get it now? The air in the potato chips bag acts as a cushion and prevents chips from breaking on the way to reach you, just like the bouncy protects you from a hard fall. Take out the air and you get broken, crushed chips! It is like the bubble wrap for chips and other packaged snacks.
So the manufacturers are not really bluffing you but rather ensuring that you get whole, perfect crisp chips. Also, there is one more important reason for why these bags are inflated. Can you guess it?
Try this! Take another two sealed bags of Potato chips for this STEM Science activity for kids. Deflate one bag using a push-pin. Keep this bag along with the un-tinkered potato chips bag at the same place. Using a marker, write the date on both the bags. Check them a week later.
Open both the bags and taste chips from both of them. Do you feel any difference in the taste? That’s another clever packaging trick.
The snack bags are inflated not with any air but Nitrogen. Known as nitrogen flushing, this keeps your snacks fresh and crisp.
Now, that you and your kids understand the science behind the Potato Chips bags, time to enjoy some crisps.