Reflection: Joy Suspension Lab (Oobleck) - Section 3: Student Activity (Lab)


I recommend allowing your students the chance to observe the oobleck through play, by making a mess on their desks. The nice thing about oobleck is it's ability to be easily cleaned-up. Simply allow the oobleck a chance to dry and it will easily brush entirely off of furniture and clothing.

Before this lab starts, I explain to my students that they are working in a laboratory environment that can be easily cleaned. As such, if they are allowed to make a mess then they must be willing to clean it up. I have a large trash can in my classroom (often referred to as the round filling cabinet - "no named" papers are filed here) where the bulk of the oobleck should be thrown away. I'm nervous about allowing the oobleck to be poured down the drains. Any leftover mess can be swept up. I let my student's know that if they desire to continue experimenting at home they can make the exact same mixture for just a few dollars, since most homes typically have a box of corn starch (especially around the holidays) for gravy mix. Essentially oobleck is extremely thick unflavored gravy.

  Discovery through play
  Joy: Discovery through play
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Suspension Lab (Oobleck)

Unit 9: Solutions
Lesson 2 of 3

Objective: Students will be able to determine the physical properties of a non-newtonian mixture (oobleck) through experimentation.

Big Idea: Your class will mix corn starch and water to make oobleck, a mixture that exists as a solid and a liquid at the same time.

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  70 minutes
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