Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Jake. Jake Wonders, “why is oobleck not a luquid solid or gas” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Jake!
Do you ever have weird dreams? Some students dream that a dog eats their homework the night before it's due. Some dreams are even stranger. We once knew a kid who dreamed that he was eating a marshmallow all night long and he woke up to find his pillow missing!
Even the marshmallow dream doesn't compare to the bizarre dream we had the other night, though. We were walking with the Cat in the Hat along the edge of the woods just outside of Whoville.
Along the way, we ran into Bartholomew Cubbins, and he told us about a shortcut through the woods. We hiked a ways down a narrow path until we ran smack dab into a mysterious pool of green guck. We thought it was liquid when we dipped our toes slowly into it, but it turned out to be a solid when we went to jump into it.
What was the meaning of this crazy dream? It was definitely inspired by Dr. Seuss. Of that we're sure! We suspect that our encounter with Bartholomew Cubbins was the result of recently reading Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck. And the green guck? That was definitely oobleck.
In Dr. Seuss' Caldecott Honor Book, King Derwin of Didd asks magicians to create something new to fall from the sky when he grows bored with the usual rain, sun, fog, and snow. The magicians create sticky, green oobleck, which quickly causes all sorts of problems. Fortunately, young Bartholomew Cubbins saves the day.
Bartholomew and the Oobleck inspired the name "oobleck" to be given to a curious substance that you can create in your very own kitchen. As millions of children have learned over the years in science classes and experiments at home, oobleck is a truly mysterious substance that's a lot of fun to play with!
To make oobleck, you'll need just a few simple ingredients: water, corn starch, and food coloring. In a large bowl, add a few drops of food coloring to a cup of water. Slowly stir in a cup and a half to two cups of corn starch until the mixture forms a gooey slime.
Don't worry if your oobleck doesn't turn out perfectly the first time you make it. It can take a bit of trial and error to get it just right. During the mixing process, you may want to use your hands to ensure it reaches the proper consistency.
When your oobleck is finished, have fun playing with it! Try to answer the following question: is oobleck a liquid or a solid? If you slowly dip your finger into the oobleck, it feels like a liquid. However, if you squeeze or punch the oobleck, it feels solid. What's going on here?
Oobleck is what's known as a non-Newtonian fluid. That means it has properties of both solids and liquids. Another non-Newtonian fluid you may have heard of is quicksand.
Some substances, such as water, change states from a liquid to a solid or a gas with changes in temperature. If you heat liquid water, it will change to a gas. Freeze it and it turns to a solid.
Oobleck, on the other hand, changes states based upon pressure. Slowly dipping a finger into oobleck allows corn starch particles to move out of the way, resulting in a liquid-like feel. If you apply pressure, though, the corn starch particles pack together, increasing the viscosity of the oobleck and making it feel like a solid.
If you really want to have some fun with oobleck, try making a big batch in a plastic kiddie pool. Can you walk across the oobleck without sinking? What happens when you stop walking? Enjoy experimenting with oobleck!