Sunday, September 09, 2007

We Made Oobleck: The Simplest Science Lesson Ever

Oobleck is cornstarch and water. Under pressure, it's a solid. Without pressure, it's a liquid. You can pour it and break it. You can yank on a spoon in a bowl full of Oobleck and pick up the whole bowl. Or you can pull gently on the spoon and let the Oobleck dribble off it like pudding. It's amazing. Everybody makes Oobleck at some point in their lives. Friday was our day for Oobleck, and we did not shy away from our destiny. We made Oobleck, and we made it pink. And orange. You know, we did not skimp on the orange.

Apparently, Oobleck makes you have strange facial expressions too. As well as being awesome.

The way you make Oobleck is simple. Cornstarch plus water, in about equal parts, maybe a little more cornstarch than water. Mix, get messy, be amazed. Whack it, dribble it, I guarantee you will be calling in your family from the other room. "Look at this stuff!" you will say. "You have to try this!" I was an Oobleck skeptic, I have to admit, but I am skeptical no more. Neither are the children. This was technically my preschool science lesson for the day, but when the second graders were done with their Latin, they had to come out and have a play with it:

For a proper explanation of Oobleck, including a thoughtful discussion of non-Newtonian fluids, try this web site: The Instructables. Their Oobleck page will also deliver the priceless gift of a YouTube movie showing people running across Oobleck. Then you could check out BARTHOLEMEW AND THE OOBLECK for the full Oobleck experience.

For related posts, click the science tag! Welcome to Little Blue School -- I hope you stick around and leave a comment so I can follow your back to your blog. :)

1 comment:

  1. Neat!
    I mean, messy!
    Wait, fun! Yep, that works. Another simple science lesson is worms. You can't go wrong with worms.
    Nice meeting you! I enjoyed browsing both of your blogs.

    Peace and Laughter,