Hello Summer Science Explorers! Professor Holly Day here with a personal favorite of mine, Oobleck!
Who-bleck you say?? Oobleck is a thing, not a person, first of all, and a really awesome thing at that! I remember making Oobleck back in elementary school, back when tape players and care-bears were cool… wait…you don’t know what that is? Oh, I mean Ipods and Sponge Bob Squarepants. Anyways, back to the matter at hand.
Oobleck is named after a Dr. Seuss story – “Bartholomew and the Oobleck” – in which a King asks his magicians to make it rain something other than rain, and the result is oobleck. There isn’t anything magical about this non-newtonian fluid however, it is a simple mixture of cornstarch, water, and maybe a little food coloring for fun (my teacher made mine green).
- 2 cups cornstarch
- a couple drops of your favorite food coloring
- water (enough to make a thick mixture – probably a little less than 1:1 with the cornstarch)
- Large Bowl
- Pour the cornstarch into your bowl. Take some time to observe the cornstarch, touch it and feel it’s texture. Cornstarch has a pretty interesting feel to it – this is because the grains of cornstarch are itty-bitty.
- Add a couple of drops of food coloring to your water (not too much though or you will end up with stained hands, feet, walls, floors, clothes…. you get the idea)
- Slowly add the water to the cornstarch. Use your hands to start mixing it in (don’t be shy!). Now at this point you may be noticing that there is something different about this substance – it doesn’t feel quite like any other liquid you have played with before.
- Keep adding water until the consistency is smooth, but not too thin. You should be able to pick some up and roll it into a ball with your hands. If it melts when you stop moving, you’re there!
- Squeeze it
- Roll it into a ball (and then stop rolling!)
- Smack it
- Let your hand rest on it
- Try to pull your hand away (heh heh heh)
- Try to Bounce it (does it bounce?)
- Poke it
- Pour it into a cup (does it retain it’s cup – shape after you take it out again?)
- Bounce a ball on it
- Try to fill a balloon with it
- Throw a ball of oobleck in the air (what happens to it?)
- OR you could make a TON of oobleck – fill a kiddy-pool with it, and try to run on it like these people:
- Summer Science Explorers ALWAYS ask for parental permission before completing an experiment
- Do not attempt to pour oobleck down the drain – it will clog – simply dispose of oobleck in the garbage can, or even bury it in your flower bed (if Mom and Dad say it’s okay).
- Oobleck on clothing can be brushed away after it dries.
- A wet rag will clean up any oobleck on hard surfaces.
- Don’t throw oobleck at anyone and definitely do not try to eat it! (It doesn’t taste very good anyways)