Oozeq and oobleck
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Oozeq is pronounced "OOZE-eck" and is named after "oobleck."

Oobleck is a mixture of cornstarch and water that is often used in classrooms to demonstrate non-Newtonian fluids that act like both a solid and a liquid.

Oozeq is a stable, patent pending, starch and water gel. Like oobleck, Oozeq will stretch like liquid when pulled slowly, and break like a solid when torn quickly.

The word "oobleck" is borrowed from a Dr Suess book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, in which "oobleck" refers to a gooey green precipitation.

Story of Oobleck, by Cary Sneider

[The following is the firsthand account of ”the first Oobleck lab and scientific convention on the properties of Oobleck” by Cary Sneider, Ph.D., Associate Research Professor at Portland State University. From Portland State University's website, "Dr. Sneider’s research interests have focused on helping students unravel their misconceptions in science and on new ways to link science centers and schools to promote student inquiry."]

It was the fall of 1969, my first year as a science teacher in a small town in Maine. I had two physics class assignments and three classes of 9th grade general science—what our principal called the "terminal" science class. Tracking was in full force and the students in my general science class were not expected to go on to biology, chemistry, or physics. But it was my favorite class to teach!

With absolutely no guidelines and no curriculum, I recalled an idea that I'd heard at college from a friend, Martha Constantine, about kids holding a "scientific convention." So I tried out the idea and the kids really got into it. I had them observe a phenomenon for a class period—such as falling objects or shadows—and write statements about their observations. Then they'd post their statements on the board and we'd discuss them one at a time, to see if everyone agreed if the statement was true. If not the students would suggest changes in wording, and sometimes, if they could not agree, we'd send off a "committee" of students on both sides of an issue to explore the phenomenon and report back to the group.

It was about halfway through that year when I visited some friends, Dick and Alice Spencer, who said "Hey you gotta' play with this great stuff—it's amazing!" That was my first experience with Oobleck. The next day I brought half a dozen boxes of cornstarch to school, along with some green food coloring, and that was the first Oobleck lab and scientific convention on the properties of Oobleck. — Cary Sneider, November 15, 2013

Superhydrophobic Slingshot

Throwing beads of oobleck is fun and easy to do with only cornstarch, water, and a feather. Phlym is our word for this flying slime.

Feathers are superhydrophobic - very afraid of water. This means a drop of water will bead on the surface and bounce off easily.

Oobleck is water based non-Newtonian fluid. This means it will easily bounce off a feather, and it will become momentarily solid if force is suddenly applied.

The sudden force of flicking one's finger against the back of a feather transmitted through to a bead of oobleck on the top surface of the feather will cause the bead of oobleck to momentarily solidify and fly away.

Oobleck may be made by mixing 1 part water with 2 parts cornstarch (add a little water if too thick). Holding a feather flat, put a drop of oobleck on the top surface of the feather. From below the feather, flick the feather under the oobleck quickly and watch the oobleck drop fly away.

Long Lasting Oobleck

Oobleck made with just water and cornstarch will dry out quickly. Glycerin is a humectant, which means it attracts and holds water. Adding glycerin will hold the water, keeping the mixture fluid longer.

At room temperature mix a thick paste of cornstarch and glycerin, then add a small amount of water until it just starts to become liquid. Adding a very small amount of vegetable oil will help prevent the oobleck from sticking to hands.

Plain water and cornstarch oobleck dries out after a few minutes. Oobleck made with glycerin will tend to last for hours. Oozeq remains stable for years ... and years.

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