Projects‎ > ‎(1) Discrepant Events‎ > ‎

Absorption- Pretzel Predictions (Arpa Ghazarian)


Arpa Ghazarian

Principles Illustrated

1. Digestion physiology

2. absorption



  • Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations (Standard A.1.1)
  • A substance has characteristic properties all of which are independent of the amount of the sample (Standard B.1.1)
  • Design and conduct scientific investigations (Standard A.1.2)
  • The physical properties of compounds reflect the nature of the interactions among its molecules (Standard B.2.4)

Questioning Script

Prior knowledge & experience:

Students can eat more than five pretzels, or even an entire bag, however not in a minute. The additives in the pretzels maintain their dryness. When trying to eat them in a minute, there is not saliva in the mouth to get through even five pretzels. It requires only a portion of one pretzel to absorb all the saliva in a student's mouth. 

In eating competitions, competitor's drink water in between each bite to help them swallow down all the food in a timed period.

Root question:

Predict how many pretzels you can eat in a minute.

Target response:

Students will guess twenty or thirty, or even the entire bag. 

Common Misconceptions:

The size of the pretzels mislead them which is why they think they can eat so many. They overestimate how many they can eat in a minute since they don't realize that there are additives in the pretzels that keep them dry.

Photographs and Movies

Salivary Glands