Here's a substance -- we call it "gunk" -- that's easy to make and very entertaining. It's made with cornstarch and water, and that's reason it's so much fun: Cornstarch mixed with water has properties of both a liquid and a solid. Impossible, you say? No, it's science.
What You'll Need:
- Measuring cup
Step 1: Pour 1 cup of water into a bowl.
Step 2: Add cornstarch a little at a time, stirring as you go. You will need about 1-1/2 cups of cornstarch. Keep adding until it gets difficult to stir.
Step 3: When it is perfect, you can hit the solution with your hand, and it will not splatter.
Have fun with the gunk. Scoop some up, and let it dribble back into the bowl. Try to form some into a ball.
Have a friend take a look. Slap your hand into the bowl, and watch as your friend jumps back, expecting a splash -- but no splash happens.
When you've had enough fun with the gunk, throw it in the trash -- don't pour it down the drain, as it may clog the pipes.
For more exciting science projects, check out:
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTING WRITER:
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Peter Rillero, Ph.D., is Department Chair of Secondary Education and Associate Professor of Science Education at Arizona State University in Phoenix. He is the author of Time for Learning: Science; Time for Learning: The Human Body, and Totally Creepy Bugs and the co-author of the best-selling high school biology textbook in the United States. Rillero has conducted two program evaluations of the world's largest science fair, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. His Web site is www.west.asu.edu/rillero.