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Poke a Potato

Experiments | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Learning Pod

Potato and Straw Experiment

How about using a bendable, light straw- yes, the one we use to slurp down chocolate milk shakes; to make holes inside rock solid potatoes? Does it sound like mission impossible? How about trying it with us?

Stab a Potato with a Straw

There are two rules. You need to use two ingredients and you cannot twist or crack the straw.

What You Need

A straw
A raw potato

3 Steps to Make a Straw Stab a Potato

  1. Hold the potato in your left hand (your non writing hand). Make sure your fingers are not on the top or bottom of the potato.
  2. Place your right hand’s thumb over one end of the straw, and don’t allow any air to enter. Hold the straw tightly with the other four fingers of your right hand.
  3. Now with a quick jab, insert the straw inside the narrower, top part of the potato, not the thicker middle part. It went in and the straw did not bend or break. You are a genius! A big round of applause for you.

How It Works

  • The end of the straw has a narrow opening, and when you close it firmly; you are trapping the air inside. So, the air molecules compress and make the straw strong. That’s why the straw doesn’t bend when you poke it in the potato.
  • The trapped, compressed air makes the straw strong enough to go through the potato. Since your thumb is not covering the straw on the other side, the air gets pushed out of the straw. Now, it is weak again.

For more such science experiments and articles, visit http://mocomi.com/learn/science/