Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Really "Goo" Time - Cornstarch and Water Goo!

Good Morning!

Thanks for visiting!

If you stopped by last week, you probably saw the Soap Cloud experiment that Lil' A and I did during one of the many "sickie" times... but there's no way we could do a "clean" experiment (it used soap for goodness sake!) without doing a gross, messy experiment that was super cool!

A Really "Goo" Time! 
Cornstarch and Water Slime

Bowl/Tupperware/Foil Dish

Food Coloring
Corn Syrup


Put your Mad Lil' Scientist into clothes that you don't mind getting messy... you may want to do the same for you!

Let your Lil' Scientist pour some cornstarch in the dish.  Our container was about 1/2 full so Lil' A dumped in about 1/4 - I wanted some left in case we had to add more!

Now let your Lil' Scientist pour the water in.  I used about 1 cup.  The measurements are exact, but part of the fun is letting your lil' one figure out how to the consistency they want!

Now let your Lil' Scientist mix by hand - don't use a spoon, part of the fun is getting dirty and letting them feel the texture!

Once we got our Goo to the consistency we liked, my Lil' Scientist wanted to change the color so I let him add food coloring and then mix it all in.

I think this was his favorite part.

Here's the thing about food coloring... it'll stain so your Lil' Scientist's hands may be green (or whatever color your goo is!) for a day or so.  Lil' A kind of flipped out about this so we washed his hands a million times in one night and then had him take a l-o-n-g bath the next morning... he was pretty much back to his original color after that!

We talked about:
- What did the goo feel like?
- Why did he think it worked?
- What it felt like with more water compared to more corn starch?
- What would happen if he hit it? 
- Can you shape it into a ball? 
- Can you pour it?
Here's some of the science in super BASIC terms and without a super explanation!
The cornstarch is made up of long chains of atoms - a polymer. These chains can move past each other, but they take some time to do this. If you pour it slowly, it can flow like a liquid. If you try to force things and make the chains slide more quickly than they want to, they get entangled - and the mixture gets firmer. So if you push hard on it, it acts more like a solid.
The real explanation is actually a bit more complicated than this. But the exact workings of mixtures like this is something that is not all that well understood. Folks sometimes get upset when there is no really good answer for things in science, but really that's a good thing - if we already knew everything there was to know, there would be no reason to try new things - and what's the fun in that?
- Source

So much fun, easy and cheap!  I think I liked playing with this gooey slime just as much as Lil' A did!

Have a "goo"d day!

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