Hooked on Science: A magnet can reveal iron in cereal

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are you getting enough iron for breakfast? It all depends on what kind of cereal you eat.

Materials

* Total cereal

* Zip-top bag

* Water

* Strong magnet

Instructions

STEP 1: Pour two cups of Total cereal into the zip-top bag.

STEP 2: Using your hands, crush the cereal into tiny pieces.

STEP 3: Pour water into the bag. Using your hands, mix the water and cereal.

STEP 4: Rub the strong magnet against the bag until you see black pieces of iron appear.

Explanation

Total cereal contains bits of iron. Iron helps the body make hemoglobin in the blood, which carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. The average adult has enough iron inside their body to create two small nails.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website www.hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments that might get you hooked on science. Send him your science questions at jlindseyhookedonscience.com. More science experiments can be found at www.semissourian.com.

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