Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Quinn's Science Fair Project

Now that we are back from spring break, and back into the swing of things, it's time to think science fair projects. I am so sick of science fair projects. Riley is doing and redoing his, and Quinn has to do one for his teacher. Quinn's is a lot less pressure though.
Quinn's project involves quicksand. We made it by mixing cornstarch and water. We got the idea HERE.
We added cornstarch, a little at a time, and then water, and then he/we stirred. It was hard to stir with a spoon.
It was easier to stir by hand, but messing. This mixture becomes both a solid and a liquid, just like real quicksand. It's really strange. Stirring the cornstarch into the water was tricky. Once it all dissolved, it looked very watery. When you put your hand in though, you could pull up chunks but as soon as you pulled your hand out, the chunks would go liquid. It was really really cool.
Quinn did not enjoy putting his hands into the mixture. We first had him push his hand into the mixture and then try to pull it out. His hand would stick in the mixture, and it would make this great sound when he pulled it out. He couldn't move his hand very quickly in the mixture either. He found that it really acts like a paste, or a glue, and that's why people can get stuck in it. The more he moved, the harder it was to move. With real quicksand, the more you struggle, the more you sink.
He pulled out chunks and then the chunks would go liquid.
You can really see the chunks in this picture. It was very interesting to try and pick up. It was like pulling off a piece of clay and then it would go liquid. Really very cool.
Next he tried putting in a toy.
He would drop in the toy and at first it would stay on top of the mixture, but then it would slowly start to sink. The mixture seemed to try and hold the toy, but because it's not real quicksand, it was easy to release the toy.

Quinn has to talk about his experiment in his class on Friday, but he doesn't have to have anything written up until around May 19. We have been so consumed with Riley's project that we hadn't even completed Quinn's until this afternoon.

No comments: