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'Oobleck' gives students hands on lesson in non-Newtonian fluids

During the last week of school at Metcalf Middle, students were given an opportunity to take their shoes off for some science fun! For 6th grade science, student standards are for physical science. In order to better understand matter and properties such as elasticity, students were able to run across a kiddie pool of oobleck which is a non-Newtonian fluid.  

The oobleck was made using 25 pounds of corn starch and 1.5 gallons of water. Students learned how oobleck reacts to pressure such as running across it or pressing down upon it. Tracey Plante, 6th grade science teacher, explains “Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid that reacts to a force such as pressure and has a very high viscosity since it is made out of cornstarch and water.  It is really easy to make as it is as equal ratio of water and cornstarch. You might need to add a little of each to get it just right”.

Carissa Chow sixth grader states, “It’s really fun to do something hands-on...It’s really a cool way to learn about matter like this.  You can feel the oobleck sucking your feet down...Science is so much fun!”

Suhayb Mahamed states, “When I first saw it, I thought ‘this is really messy’.  But, now I know if I could jump in a pool of oobleck I would!” Suhayb did not mind that oobleck was on his clothes as it easily washes out.  “If I have to do laundry--oh well!”

Alpha Dinos explained, “I thought it would be like slime and that I would sink into it.  I was surprised when I didn’t sink but then I realized it is non-Newtonian so it reacts when I push on it--like my feet stepping on it.”

Students were given the opportunity to go into the oobleck pool multiple times. Clean-up is easy and many students were going to go home to make oobleck with their friends and family to share what they have learned in science.  

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Posted: Friday, June 8, 2018 - 10:12