Good afternoon scientists! My little scientist and I just conducted a fun experiment on our breakfast cereal. He was amazed and you will be too! Try it with your little one! 🙂
Any Brand Corn Flake Cereal (Check the iron content on the daily value, the higher the iron the better)
Ceramic Magnet (Regular kitchen magnets are not strong enough. I got mine from the local home improvement store. Take care in only giving your child one)
1/2 Cup Dry Measuring Cup
Small Food Storage Bag
Large Food Storage Bag
**Magnets are harmful if swallowed or if you have certain medical conditions. Use caution and never eat in a lab setting. Always fully supervise your child. The magnets required are stronger than your typical fridge magnet, do not have more then one out for this investigation.**
- Have your little scientist scoop out one scoop of corn flake cereal into a small food storage bag. Try to get as much of the air as you can, then seal the bag.
- Crush the cereal in the bag until you have tiny crumbs left.
- Pour the crumbs onto the paper plate.
- Hold the plate as your little scientist moves the magnet around slowly on the bottom of the plate. You will see tiny pieces of cereal “dance” around. See Video Below.
- Pour the left over crumbs into the large food storage bag. Add 2-3 more scoops of cereal into the large food storage bag. (DO NOT CRUSH).
- Fill bag with water so that all cereal is completely covered. Seal bag tightly, leave the bag on a counter away from children and pets.
- Wait about 30 minutes or until all the cereal is soggy. Squish up the soggy cereal very gently.
- Slowly move the magnet along the outside of the bag, slowly pulling up the iron out of the cereal. It will look like grey pencil shavings.
In this investigation you and your little scientist discovered that we do indeed eat a metal known as iron. Metals are solid and usually hard, shiny, and malleable (can be squished into other shapes like armor). Iron is a required part of our daily diet. It is in many of the foods that we eat as well as in some vegetables. Without enough iron we can become sick. Anemia is a disease in which a person does not have enough iron in their blood. Iron helps your blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. So even though it seems strange it is actually a really good thing that iron is in so many of the foods that we eat, even our corn flakes.
We were able to use a magnet to move the iron in the cereal on the plate. We were also able to pull the iron out of the soggy cereal. Magnets are able to pull or move iron and some other materials because they have a strong attraction to them.