It’s sometimes difficult for my brother to agree
with me on a project, but we’ve always loved a
project that mixes art, science, books and a
mess! You may have heard about Oobleck in
science, but we first read about it in Dr. Seuss’s book Bartholomew and the Oobleck.
In the story, the king wants something new to happen. The result, a magician makes Oobleck fall from the sky. This project is fun for families of all ages and clean-up is just hot water and a rag! So, get to making your own Oobleck!
This steam project is from Page and Gavin Schumacher!
Gather your materials:
-1 cup of water
-2 cups of corn starch
-green food coloring
Slowly mix in the water and corn starch. As you get close to 1.5 cups of corn starch, start using your hands. This way you can tell when the mixture is ready. You want it to be a liquid when you pour it, but a solid when you try to grab it. If you put too much corn starch in, add a little water. Too much water, add a little corn starch.
Once you feel you have the right consistency, add a few drops of food coloring and stir with your hands until mixed. We are using green like in the story, but you can use any color you want.
Now you are ready to play!
When you pick it up, as long as you are pushing on it, it will stay a solid. Try rolling it into a ball. As soon as you let go, the Oobleck turns into a liquid and runs through your fingers.
You can try to use spoon to pick it up; it will be hard to do. But pour the Oobleck into another bowl, and it will quickly pour out.
This is because it is a Non-Newtonian fluid. It doesn’t follow the viscosity rules of a fluid, but it’s not a solid.
Taking it to the next level:
We wanted to make this a little more advanced, so we decided to see what it would do with sound wave vibrations. We tried this in a glass dish and a pie pan, but in the end, we carefully put the Oobleck directly on the clingwrap over the center of the subwoofer. We found some music with a big beat. At first the liquid vibrates a little. As the sound creates bigger vibrations, you can see the sound. The Oobleck dances around! This is a great time to talk about how soundwaves traveling quickly through the air move into our eardrums and create what we hear by vibrating.
Thanks again to Paige and Gavin for the great STEAM project!