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Can a paper straw go through a raw potato? Here's an easy way to learn about inertia and momentum.

What you'll need

A raw potato
One or more paper straws
Your science journal

What to do

  1. Put a potato on the table or kitchen counter and hold it firmly with one hand, making sure the palm of your hand is not underneath the potato.*

  2. With a fast, strong push, stab the potato with the straw.

  3. What happens? Did the straw bend? The straw should go into the potato. If it didn't, try again with another straw--maybe a little faster or harder.

*If the potato is old, soak it in water for about half an hour before trying this activity.

An object remains at rest (the potato, in this case) or keeps moving (the straw, in this case) unless it is acted upon by some external force.

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