One of the first things young scientists learn is the difference between solids, liquids, and gases. The differences between the three main states of matter seem to be clearly defined, they are either hard ( a solid), runny ( a liquid) or a gas. However this week we learnt in year 6 that there are some materials that require a closer look. When we mixed cornflour, water and food colouring we discovered that the mixture we created did not follow the normal rules of a liquid or a solid. We noticed that when we used our hands to scoop up a handful of the mixture and closed our hands, it formed ball. But when we held our hands out flat we watched the mixture fall back into a puddle in our palms.
We had made a special kind of liquid, called a non-Newtonian fluid.
These fluids are generally thick and sticky. Their atoms move enough to allow the material to pour and change shape, but only if it is done slowly. If you try to manipulate it too quickly, its atoms ram into each other, forming a solid temporarily.
We loved this experiment, it was so theraputic playing with the non – Newtonian fluids!
As part of Science Week, the children in Jupiter Class also carried out an experiment about water filtration. We created own water filters using cotton, wool, charcoal and sand and were amazed to learn about the cleansing properties of charcoal! It was incredible to see the muddy water become clear as it went through the filters!