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Parents & Families

States of Matter

Matter is anything that has weight and takes up space. States of matter is a term that refers to the physical form of everything around us, such as liquid, solid or gas. Scientist and mathematician, Sir Isaac Newton, discovered the laws of motion. Newton is considered one of the most influential scientists of all times.

Cornstarch goop, quicksand, ketchup and slime are all “non-Newtonian” fluids. They do not follow Newton’s laws of how true fluids act. These fluids act like solids or liquids depending on the pressure you apply or how you move it around.

Cornstarch goop is sometimes called Oobleck. Oobleck gets its name from the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Check it out.

Crazy Cornstarch Goop

Place 1/2 cup of cornstarch into a bowl. Add about a 1/4 cup of water and stir. Keep adding water and stirring until the mixture looks like thick pancake batter.  Adding food coloring is optional.

How to Play

  • Poke the goop hard with your finger. What does it feel like?
  • What does it feel like when you slowly stick your finger into the goop?
  • Scoop some goop into your hand. What happens? Can you hold it?
  • Pour goop onto a hard (washable) surface. What happens? Can you push it with your finger?

This activity is not recommended for children under three years of age.
Parents, please supervise all experiments with young children.

Cornstarch goop dries to a powder and can be vacuumed from carpet or brushed from clothing.

NOTE: Do not put cornstarch goop down the sink. Dispose of it in the trash.

View/Download the PDF version here. (Right click and chose “Save Link As” to download).

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