Ex­per­i­ments in the kitchen

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Bright Kids -

EX­PLOR­ING and learn­ing about science should not be con­fined to the class­room as it can also hap­pen at home.

Con­duct­ing home ex­per­i­ments al­lows chil­dren to un­der­stand how science works in real life and around them ev­ery day.

Sim­ple ex­per­i­ments us­ing safe house­hold items are not only ed­u­ca­tional but also al­low par­ents to bond with their chil­dren and cre­ate a fun learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether.

One of the best places to con­duct ex­per­i­ments in is the kitchen. There are many house­hold items and food in­gre­di­ents that can be used to con­duct ex­per­i­ments to learn about dif­fer­ent prop­er­ties and char­ac­ter­is­tics.

How­ever, par­ents must en­sure that these home ex­per­i­ments are safe for chil­dren and do not use ma­te­ri­als that con­tain tox­ins. Here is a good ex­am­ple.

Cool goo

Be­sides be­ing su­per fun, this tac­tile ex­per­i­ment teaches chil­dren physics and chem­istry with in­gre­di­ents that you can eas­ily find in the kitchen.

What you need:

Corn flour


Food colour­ing (op­tional)


Make a batch of goo by slowly mix­ing one part water to one and a half to two parts corn flour. Mix thor­oughly to get rid of any lumps.

What to do:

Swirl your fin­gers around in the goo. Does it feel like liq­uid?

Take a fist­ful of it and squeeze. Does it be­come a solid ball? Drop it onto the ta­ble and watch what hap­pens – does it turn into liq­uid again? How it works:

This goo is an oobleck, a non-New­to­nian fluid that has both liq­uid and solid prop­er­ties. It was in­spired by the fic­tional green sub­stance in the Dr Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck.

The oobleck feels solid when you squeeze or punch it but feels like liq­uid when you slowly dip your hand into it be­cause it is made up of mol­e­cules ar­ranged in long chains.

When the chains are stretched, the oobleck flows like liq­uid. When the chains are forced to­gether, they stick to­gether to form a solid.

Things to ex­per­i­ment:

1 Try ma­nip­u­lat­ing water and corn flour con­tents to pro­duce goo with dif­fer­ent con­sis­ten­cies. Do they then ex­hibit more solid-like or liq­uid-like con­sis­ten­cies?

2 What other dif­fer­ent flours can you use to pro­duce dif­fer­ent goo? Do they have the same con­sis­tency and tex­ture as the

corn flour goo?

A scale model of Bin­tulu In­ter­na­tional School (BIS).

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