Kind sirs and fair maidens, prepare yourselves for a springtime sport sweeping the lands of the Internet: Peep Jousting!
In this clever game, marshmallow Peeps face off on a paper plate, guarding themselves only with toothpicks, whilst spinning in your at-home jousting arena (otherwise known as your microwave). This is all you need:
First of all, this activity provides for plenty of cheering and laughs, but is truly a science experiment on the molecular level. Peeps fresh out of the package are best, but perhaps keep the experiment interesting by changing the state of the Peeps. For example, the marshmallow candy was soaked in water and vinegar and one Peep was left out to become stale. Will it make a difference?
But first, let’s have the fresh Peeps face off. Positioned on a paper plate, stick a toothpick in each Peep, while their “swords” just slightly touching.
Place in the microwave and set for 30 seconds.
Let the jousting begin!
Looks like the green Peep bested his pink challenger.
What happens will happen with the Peep soaked in white vinegar?
There was no clear champion. The children noticed that the vinegar Peep was just as likely to puff up in the microwave, but much more melt-y afterward. This is because sugar dissolves more slowly in vinegar, so the sugar isn’t as likely to be broken down, as in say, water. Which brings us to our next trial…
The H20 Peep was more soaked with water, making it puff up less and barely move. This Peep didn’t move as much and was left open to being poked.
Lastly, the stale Peep was not a great contender. Completely separating in the microwave, the stale Peep did not stand a chance against the fresh one.
The science behind Peep Jousting:
A Peep is made up of itty-bitty air bubbles that are encapsulated by thin walls of gelatin and sugar syrup. When faced with heat, those air bubble started to really move, then turn to steam. That steam fills up those air pockets very big, causing the Peep grow large. The peep then grows smaller when the heat source is removed. Where the toothpick sword lands on its opponent seems simply based on where it was placed in the Peep.