Non-Newtonian fluids, how to make your own liquid armour or indestructible gloop from the comfort of your home and with every day items.
- Corn starch, about ¼ cup or 60cm3
- Water, about ¼ cup of 60cm3
- A bowl for mixing
- Kitchen roll or something to wipe your hands with
- This is how you make your own liquid armour. First lay newspaper over the surface you will be working on. A kitchen surface, or outside, is best as it is easier to clear up spills. Avoid carpeted areas!
- Next, put about ⅔ of the corn starch into the mixing bowl. Add about ⅓ of the water at first and mix together with your fingers.
- Keep adding small amount of water and mixing with your fingers until: 1) if you pick up a handful of the fluid, it will be quite thick and if you let it fall back into the bowl it will do so but slowly and inconsistently; 2) if you pick up a handful of the fluid and keep moving it between your hands in a ball, it will keep its shape while you apply pressure but as soon as you let go it will become more liquid again.
- If it flows too slickly and won’t solidify, add a little more corn starch and mix again. If it is too thick and won’t drip, add a little more water and mix again!
- When you’ve finished experimenting with your non-Newtonian fluid (see suggestions below!), throw it into the bin not down the sink as it can block drains.
You’ve made your own liquid armour … Now, why don’t you try…?
…adding in more cornstarch or more water. Observe how this effects the consistency of your gloop! Has it become more like a liquid or more like a solid?
…with adult supervision, reproducing the egg experiment and testing how protective your gloop is. Pour your gloop into a small bag or plastic wallet, collect it in a corner and press your egg down into it. Try:
- Dropping the bag to the ground from head height
- Asking your supervising adult to drop it from their head height
- Dropping it from an upstairs window (if safe to do so!)
- (Carefully) hitting it with something
…doing some more research on one of the topics Jack introduced during the lesson and making a poster or digital display. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- What are the differences between solids, liquids and gases?
- How does Quicksand work? (and how would you get out if you fell in?!)
- How do sound waves travel and how do we hear them?
…designing a form of protection – a shield, body armour, vehicle or building protection – that uses your gloop, and trying to explain how and why it would work!
Send your work, pics and clips in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might even show it at the start of next week’s lesson!
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