Monday, January 03, 2011

Non-Newtonian Science Evening

We recently watched a "science" type of show that featured a non-Newtonian goopy substance Dr. Seuss comically named "Oobleck." I knew what it was so I set out to make it again because everyone needs to have *that* kind of mess in the kitchen now and again. You know what kind of mess I am talking about. The ones where you fool yourself into thinking that it will all stay in the bowl. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah. (It was worth all the mess though!)

The recipe varies from site to site, but the one we used was one cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup water. Pour the water slowly into the cornstarch and stir with a fork. It will start to harden immediately, but keep stirring. It will work itself into the strangest liquid/solid/mish-mash you have ever seen. It will feel wet, but won't be and when you apply pressure to it, it will harden until the pressure is removed. It kept their attention for hours because it is just so much fun to play with!

Here are some photos. This is what it looks like just at the end of the mixing process with a little food coloring. Your fingers are getting used to it. You can run your them across the top and it will harden and then immediately soften again once the pressure is off.

Then once you play with it for a while (and add other food coloring choices) it hardens more and can be picked up and played with.

I loved this one. This is her "hardened" blob pulled apart. It is already starting to soften again. I loved the color blending here. Click on the images to see them in larger format if you wish as the coloring is just so interesting to me. It doesn't take the color as fast as other kinds of doughs and it was really interesting to see the marbling.

This is what happens when you use food coloring. :)


Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

Homeschooling for more than two decades and I've never heard of this stuff! I'm thinking we need to mix up a batch of this, and soon!

Charlotte said...

This is a great idea, Kate! And I love the last photo.....don't you love food coloring? :-_

Kate said...

It is a lot of fun - just a big mess! I think this will be great fun to redo in the summer outside. :)