Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dr. Seuss Oobleck

Over the weekend my daughters I decided to make Oobleck after a suggestion from my sister.  I was looking for something fun that they girls would enjoy.  Having never hear of this I had to do some research on what exactly Oobleck was.

Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid made from 2 parts corn starch to 1 part water.  It is also based off a substance in the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck: (Caldecott Honor Book) (Classic Seuss).

Well thats great but what is a non-Newtonian fluid you ask? It is a fluid that is not described by a single constant value of viscosity.  With Oobleck it acts as a liquid when no force is applied, but if you try and hit it, it turns to a solid.

I was thinking big when I started this project not realizing how much cornstarch I would need.  I used a container that could hold 1 gallon of water (I was going for more, but after initial looks figured that would be way to much corn starch.) Boy was I right on that one.  I had to make a second trip to the store to purchase more cornstarch, which there has to be a cheaper way then buying boxes at the local supermarket.

The initial ingredients are 1 cup of water to 1.5 to 2 cups of cornstarch.  Using 1gallon of water equals 16 cups so I would need about 32 cups of cornstarch.  I had purchased 4 16 oz boxes of cornstarch to begin with.

So we have 64oz of cornstarch to begin with, and 1 cup of cornstarch is 6 oz, so we had  10 cups roughly.  This is where I ran to the store.  I bought 5 more packages (all that was left practically).  So now we are at a total of 144oz of cornstarch for a total of 24 cups roughly.  A little on the low side but I did not have the time to go get more.  Each box of cornstarch was 1.69 so 15.25 was the total for this project, once again I hope to be able to find cornstarch in bigger quantities, maybe Costco.

Just want to say sorry for the sound of my voice, I was talking to my girls while trying to film us playing with it.
Overall I think that my daughters enjoyed the project, and can't wait for the next one to start.