June 20, 2020

When is a liquid a solid and a solid a liquid? When it's a non-Newtonian fluid.

Kaylee Shapiro explores the incredible properties of non-Newtonian fluids in this hands-on exploration of Oobleck, an easy to make substance that behaves like a liquid and a solid. 

Materials | Supplies

  • water
  • corn starch
  • large container
  • towels
  • spoon, slotted spoon, colander
  • food coloring

Concepts Explored

  • states of matter
  • non-Newtonian fluids
  • viscosity
  • chemistry
  • observation

Discovery Starters

What happens if you freeze or add ice to the oobleck? Why?

If you add more corn starch, how does the oobleck change? 

If you add more water, how does the oobleck change?

Does the water temperature effect the oobleck? 

Explore Further

You use non-Newtonian fluids all the time. Check around your house for examples. Here's a hint: one of these household fluids goes great with french fries, another helps keep you hair clean. 

Additional Resources

Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

YouTube video Oobleck and non-Newtonian fluids

Clabber Girl website 10 STEM Activities for Oobleck

Fantastic Fun and Learning website Fluffy Oobleck Recipe

Inspiration Laboratories website Frozen Oobleck

Amazeum YOU activities Marble Painting | Fireworks in a Jar | Sweet Speedway

Amazeum YOU activity guide Oobleck