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A solid? A liquid? What IS it?

Oobleck experiment
  • Lower School News

Non-Newtonian substance? Oobleck? Solid or liquid? Ask our third graders! Ms. Aronson taught third graders about the scientific method, and they learned that their mystery substance acted like a liquid when poured, but acted like a solid when forced was applied. 

A non-Newtonian fluid is a fluid that does not follow Newton's law of viscosity, which says that the fluid maintains a constant viscosity regardless of stress placed on the fluid. Non-Newtonian fluids can change their viscosity when under force. Many commonly found substances are non-Newtonian, such as ketchup, custard, honey, melted butter, and shampoo. When students are asked to predict the behavior of a substance, they base their hypotheses on their personal experiences with solids and liquids. Watch the video to hear the students re-evaluate their hypotheses, as Ms. Aronson demonstrates the properties of their mystery substance.

At Good Shepherd, we instill curiosity in our students and challenge them to question norms. Whether in science or any other subject, teachers encourage students to look at the evidence they've collected and information they've researched to make predictions and determine outcomes. 

Do you want to complete your own experiment? Visit Scientific American's website for step by step instructions.

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Third Grade Explores Non-Newtonian Fluids