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Make Oobleck

Do you know what happens when you mix cornstarch and water? When mixed together, they create a material that we call Oobleck, which doesn’t act like a solid or a liquid, but something in between!

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Plan

  • What supplies will you need for this activity?  
  • How can you make sure that you do not make a mess while doing this activity? 
  • How will you test your Oobleck to see how it acts? 

Do

  • Mix two cups of cornstarch and one cup of water. Add a couple of drops of food colouring if desired (this will make the activity messier!) 
  • When you poke, hit or lift the oobleck it should be solid. When it is left alone or poured, it should act like a liquid. 
  • Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid – this means it doesn’t follow the rules that most materials do. Sometimes it acts as a liquid and sometimes it acts as a solid. 
  • Play with your oobleck! Try hitting the oobleck with a spoon. The spoon should hit the oobleck as if it were a solid. Then, try gently poking the spoon into the oobleck. It should move into the oobleck as if you were putting it into a cup of pudding. 
  • Pick up the oobleck with your hands and form a ball. Then let go of the ball and watch it melt into your hands like magic! 
  • To dispose of your oobleck, leave it out overnight and it will dry. Then you can dispose of it.

Review

  • What is one thing that happened that you did not expect? 
  • What was challenging about this activity? 

Materials

  • Cornstarch 
  • Water 
  • Bowl or container 
  • Spoon  
  • Food colouring (optional)

Keep it Simple

  • Start by making a small amount of Oobleck with the help of an adult. Then, try poking it with your finger or with a spoon. What happens? From there, try some of the different activities outlined in the “do” step.   

Take it Further

  • There are lots of other experiments that you can do with liquids! Learn how to make your own lava lamp or try making a density jar.