Monster Mallows

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In this activity, learners explore how ordinary marshmallows expand when heated in a microwave. Learners heat two marshmallows in the microwave for about 20 seconds and then examine the texture and properties of the marshmallows. Use this activity to teach learners about heat and how molecules respond to temperature changes. Safety: Adult supervision required.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • marshmallows
  • paper plates or paper towels
  • microwave oven
  • toothpicks (if you want)
  • food coloring (if you want)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Chemistry
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Exploratorium,