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Non-Newtonian Fluid-OOBLECK (Carol Cao)


Carol Cao

Principle(s) Illustrated

  1. States of Matter
  2. Bonding Patterns
  3. Non-Newtonian Fluid


  • Physics Science Standards (Motion and Force)-
      1. Students know that when forces are balanced, no acceleration occurs; thus an object continues to move at a constant speed or stays at rest (Newton's first law).
      2. Students know how to apply the law F=ma to solve one-dimensional motion problems that involve constant forces (Newton's second law). 
  • Chemistry Standard- 
      1. Students know the random motion of molecules and their collisions with a surface create the observable pressure on that surface. 

Questioning Script

Prior knowledge & experience:

  • States of matter: Solid, Liquid, and Gases

Root question:

Describe the following substance in terms of states of matter and molecular movement. What do you notice when you try to pick it up? What happens when you try to push down on the substance? Can you explain what is happening?

Target response:

Students will describe that when they try to push down on the substance, it doesn't move, but it can be poured out of the contain and have liquid qualities.  The substance also can break into pieces, like in solids. The viscosity is not independent of shear rate.

Common Misconceptions:

Many students can't explain what is happening.  They think it's a combination of a liquid and a solid. 

Photographs and Movies


People Running Across a Pool of Oobleck


Mythbusters!-Walking on Water?


Non-Newtonian Fluid (Wiki)

Oobleck Instructions

on-Newtonian Fluid (Article)