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States of Matter


Learn about the states of matter with Team GCM member, Essence. She’s going to help you identify what matter is and the characteristics of the states. Plus, recreate silly solids and funny liquids using the recipes below for Oobleck and Playdough!

How to make Oobleck – a Non-Newtonian fluid

Materials:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups of corn starch
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • 4 drops of food coloring (optional)
  • Kitchen strainer (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add one cup of water to the mixing bowl. Add 4 drops of food coloring to the water and stir.
  2. Add 1 ½ cups of corn starch to the bowl and use your spoon to mix the solution well. Be sure to scrape any cornstarch that may have settled at the bottom or sides of the bowl into the solution. If you do not
    have a kitchen strainer you can add all two cups to the bowl and mix.
  3. Add more water if the solution is too stiff and more cornstarch if the solution is too watery (it does not stiffen when hit with force).
  4. If you have a strainer, you can add the remaining ½ a cup of cornstarch to the strainer and use it to shift a small amount of cornstarch in at a time. This will allow you to mix more easily to ensure your solution is
    even.
  5. Shift, stir, then repeat until the consistency is correct. If you have a friend helping, one person can stir while the other shifts the corn starch in.

Congratulations! You’ve made Oobleck your very own Non-Newtonian Fluid!

How to make Home-made Playdough – a Viscoelastic Solid

Materials:

  • Pot
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 3oz pack of Jell-O

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a pot and use the whisk to mix the solution until there are no clumps.
  2. Cook over medium heat and stir constantly as the mixture thickens. Switch to a spatula and mix as the mixture turns into a ball of dough.
  3. Stir until to can no longer stir and the slimy residue isn’t left on your fingers from touching the ball of dough.
  4. Take the dough out and let it rest on a lightly floured cutting board until it cools down (20 mins).
  5. After the dough is cooled, work the flour on the cutting board into the dough and start playing with it!

You’ve made a Viscoelastic Solid!

Team GCM Creators: Essence