Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Physics: Danger...QUICKSAND!!!

Today the physics group was challenged to figure out the best way to escape from quicksand. To thrash or not to thrash? Before jumping to any conclusions our young scientists decided to model the problem using "ooblek," a mixture of cornstarch and water. Like quicksand, ooblek changes quickly from solid to liquid as a result of changes in pressure making for some really strange behaving goo!

First the kids made their own ooblek - 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water. Then to be sure it was just the right consistency, we applied the "slap and splash test." If you slap it and it splashes, too much water. If you slap it and nothing happens, you done good! For the most part,there were no casualties, and our scientists proceeded to figure out the best way to exit the quicksand experimenting with plastic animals and action figures. Their recommendation: Don't panic and move slowly.

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