It is widely known that children are natural born scientists who incessantly try to discover the working principles of our world relying on efforts that we define as scientific methods. Scientific methods include observation, probing, forecasting, designing, and performing experiments, and discussing the results.
When a small child walks over a muddy surface, she leaves marks behind. Based on the marks, the child can develop a theory that the way she walks changes the marks’ size and shape. To test her theory, she can try hopping on one leg or tiptoeing and check if the marks change.
The same as scientist, children learn from each other. They monitor what other children or adults do and try to repeat what they see by asking questions and observing the results.
Scientific experiments encourage children to include all five senses, i.e., sight, sound, touch, smell, and sometimes even taste. The more the children get immersed into an activity, the keener interest they develop. As we have already mentioned, they are natural scientist with deeply inquisitive minds and once they get actively involved, they start using their natural skills such as observation, critical thinking, and experimenting. They want to learn more and to get answers to their questions.
Our today’s subject is Oobleck. Already the name itself sounds great, not to mention Oobleck and its amazing characteristics. You can get it by mixing corn starch and water. For the mixture you need two cups of corn starch and one cup of water. You can colour your Oobleck by adding food colours.
Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid, which means that under force it can become more fluid or more solid. Another example of non-Newtonian fluid is ketchup, which becomes more fluid when shaken. Blood is also a non-Newtonian fluid.
This activity teaches about different states of matter (e.g., solid, liquid, gas, plasma, etc.), viscosity (i.e. a fluid’s resistance to flow), lab skills such as measuring and mixing of the lovey slimy-gooey Oobleck.
The first step is to make Oobleck. Mix two cups of corn starch and a cup of water. Add some food colours to make it more fun.
Before you finish it, make some predictions. Ask the children what they expect when they mix corn starch with water. Do they expect a solid, fluid, or gas mixture? What will happen if you poke it with an object, or touch it with your hands? Will happen if you let it sit in your hand?
For this activity you can use a lot of English.
- This is Oobleck. Say Oobleck!
- Let’s make some Oobleck!
- This is water and this is corn starch. Mix them together with your hands!
- Use your hands to make Oobleck!
Nouns: water, corn starch, food color
Verbs: pour, mold, press, ooze
Adjectives: hard/soft, clean/messy, fluid
Interrogative forms: Is it soft? Are your hands clean after playing with oobleck? Is it fluid? Do you like it? What is this called?