Here is another assignment to add to the science kit. If you missed the first experiment, check it out here: Bobbing Raisins
Experiment 2: Quicksand
Gather materials needed for the experiment, print the experiment “recipe” and place all of it into a gallon size ziplock bag. Add the bagged experiment to the plastic bin so it is ready for your child.
Quicksand – A Suspension Experiment
Materials you will need:
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- 3/4 cup water
- Food Coloring (Optional)
- Plastic Bowl or Bin
- Measure 3/4 cup of water in plastic measuring cup.
- Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water.
- Measure 1 cup of cornstarch and in a plastic bowl/bin.
- Slowly add the water and food coloring.
- It will take about 10 minutes to get it evenly mixed. You may need to add more water and/or cornstarch to get it just right.
DO NOT POUR QUICKSAND DOWN THE DRAIN. IT MAY SEPARATE AND BECOME A HARD CLUMP OF CORNSTARCH!
- Gently lay your hand on the surface of the mixture. Observe what happens and record it. You should notice that your hand sinks in the mixture. Move your hand through the mixture, slowly first and then trying to move it really fast. Was it easier to move your hand slowly or quickly through it?
- Try grabbing a handful of the mixture and pulling your hand out quickly. Then try relaxing your hand and pulling it out slowly. Did you notice a difference?
- Try punching the mixture. Make sure you hit it hard and pull back your fist quickly. Did it splatter everywhere or stay in the bowl?
What is Quicksand?
Quicksand is nothing more than a soupy mixture of sand and water, where the sand is literally floating (suspended) on water. Scientifically speaking, quicksand is actually a substance that behaves like a solid and a liquid at the same time. This is the interesting sensation you experienced with the cornstarch and water mixture. Quicksand is just solid ground that has been liquefied by too much water, and the term “quick” refers to how easily the sand shifts when in this solid-liquid state.
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