Spear a Potato

Would you ever think you could stab an ordinary drinking straw into a potato? Neither did I. Or my kids.

Until our science experiment last week.

But here it is.

image

A straw in a potato.

Here’s how to do it. You know, in case you have littles at home you want to teach about inertia.

First, soak the potato in water for about 30 minutes. Don’t worry – it’ll still be raw (read: hard). Using a strong, fast thrust, push the straw into the potato.

It won’t break. The straw, that is. The potato will. Its skin, anyway.

Why it works: basic inertia. An object at rest (the potato) wants to stay at rest. An object in motion (the straw) will keep moving until it can’t anymore.

Each time we do an experiment, the kids also do a little paper. Very basic. It lists the name of the experiment, the procedure, what the kids think will happen, what actually happened, and why it worked.

–Wendy

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