The Inner Workings Of Microwaves


Mr Lincicome

When done



I think the inner workings of a microwave would make a pretty good presentation at a scout meeting (Sparks! Plasma! Radiation! And a magnetron…oooh, sounds geeky…), but I’d be cooking things that just might cause some damage. Like tinfoil, grapes, maybe CD’s (search youtube).


Not sure at this point. 20 minutes at least. If the microwave looks like it's been ruined, we could dismantle it maybe and that would take longer.

Adult role

Lead the presentation

Scout preparation

This time I have a microwave (Stan Watkins offered one), but in the future I think the scouts might need to provide one. At least until I've done it a couple times I wouldn't want to guarantee the microwave will survive in good shape.
Bring 10-20 grapes, cut as shown on this video:
They should be cut the day of the meeting so that they don't dry out too much more.
Bring a CLEAR plastic container to capture the plasma (something like a sundae container from McDonald's). Not glass, it absorbs the microwaves and keeps the grapes from arcing. A few containers would be good, the plasma tends to cook holes in them.
Bring a few CD's or DVD's to destroy in the microwave. Most people still have an AOL disc around somewhere, that should work. We'll talk about the electrical currents that run around the disc during cooking.
Bring a bag of microwave popcorn. It has a feature called a susceptor that helps it cook. If we want to have a snack they could bring a few bags of popcorn and some bowls for everyone.
Bring a couple square feet of aluminum foil and some more grapes (leave these whole). Everyone can wrap one in foilreally smoothand we'll see if it keeps the grapes from cooking. Not sure how well this will work though.
As part of the presentation the scouts should bring a piece of light rope or thick twine about 6 feet long with a weight tied on the end (something that weighs maybe ½ pound, a chunk of wood or something). We could borrow from the shed, of course. We’ll talk about how the microwaves spin the molecules around to heat them. It’s going to be really nice to show up to do a presentation and have someone else worry about remembering all the stuff to bring!

At the meeting

Pass out the foil strips and the grapes. Maybe someone else can clean up the mess!

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