Kids love making slime, right? But what if you could teach a fun science lesson and have fun making slime? It’s easy and it’s called Oobleck! Oobleck is non-newtonian fluid.
Which means it’s both a solid AND a liquid!
When you pour Oobleck it acts as a liquid, oozing out of your hands. But as soon as force is acted upon it – for instance rolling it in a ball – it becomes solid!
The Science: Applying pressure to the Oobleck mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). So a quick tap on the surface of the Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But… dip your hand slowly into the mix, and your fingers slide in as easily as through water! Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.
One way to explain this visually to small children: Cornstarch molecules are long and stringy, like spaghetti. A bowl of spaghetti noodles acts just like this substance! Punch it and your fist is stopped, but push your fist into it slowly and the noodles have time to move out of the way letting your fist penetrates the surface!
Make Your Own Oobleck:
- Mug of Corn Starch
- Half a mug of Water
- Food Coloring (optional)
Directions: Add your Cornstarch to a bowl, add a drop or two of food coloring. Slowly pour in your water, mixing as you go. As soon as the water and Cornstarch are mixed – start to play with it!
A Few Fun Oobleck Facts:
- Oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book: Bartholomew and the Oobleck,
where a gooey green substance, Oobleck, fell from the sky and wreaked havoc in the kingdom!
- Make enough Oobleck and you can even walk on it! Check out YouTube for some videos people doing just that!
- Other Non-Newtonian Substances include quicksand and silly putty!
- Clean up is easy! Add lots of hot water to the Oobleck to make it runny and disposable. Dry Ooblek can be vacuumed up!
- If you leave Ooblek out, it will eventually dry up and turn back into Cornstarch!
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