I’m Donna Jeschke, an Illinois family farmer. Corn is one of the crops I grow on my farm.
You may not realize it, but corn is an important crop for our state. Because of our fertile soil, we’re able to grow some of the world’s best corn. That corn is used for livestock feed, food and homegrown fuels.
Corn Experiments For Your Kids
The corn we grow (not the sweet corn you buy in the store) is a really versatile crop – have you seen the corn plastic and corn carpet inventions? Your family can experiment with corn at home this summer!
This is a slightly solid, slightly liquid cornstarch science experiment. Materials needed: cornstarch, water, food coloring, quart-sized bowl, and fork. Put 1 cup cornstarch in the bowl. Add ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of water. Add a few drops food coloring. Blend mixture with fork. It should flow when you tip the bowl but feel solid when you hit it. If too thick, add a little water; if too runny, add a little cornstarch.
Biodegradable Corn Plastic Recipe
Try making your own corn plastic, let your kids shape it and watch it harden. Or, break it down in water. Materials needed: cornstarch, paper cup or plastic bag, corn oil, water, and food coloring. Place a tablespoon of cornstarch in a paper cup or plastic bag. Add 2 drops of corn oil to the cornstarch. Add a tablespoon of water to oil and cornstarch. Stir. Add two drops of food coloring to the mixture and stir. Place in the microwave for 25-30 seconds. Let it cool for a bit before handling.
Watch the Video
See a group of Chicago moms ask how corn is used for fuel and food in the Illinois Farm Families Field Moms’ video below.
Questions about farming and your food?
Join the conversation with Illinois Farm Families at WatchUsGrow.org