Making Oobleck!

Contributor: Kaitlyn Aston. Lesson ID: 12486

Does it matter what state of matter matter is in? If you think that is confusing, imagine a substance that is liquid and solid at the same time! Possible? The answer is messy and fun at the same time!



learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Brain check!

An object can only be a solid OR a liquid, but never both at the same time, right? Well, prepare yourself for this: an object CAN be a solid and a liquid at the same time! If you're not convinced, take a closer look to find out (and get a little messy, too)!

As you learned in the previous Matter lesson, found under Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar, matter can appear in one of these three phases: solid, liquid, or gas.

Sometimes, matter can appear to be in two phases at one time!

  • Did you know that you can create matter that can be in TWO phases at once?

This does not mean that matter is transitioning from one phase to another; it means it is consistently two different phases at one time. That is like saying a piece of wood can be a solid and a liquid at the same time! Well, maybe not THAT crazy, but you get the point.

Most times, you consider matter as being in only ONE phase at a time, although it is indeed possible to create matter that can be in TWO phases at once! This idea may seem confusing, so let's take on a great adventure with Dr. Jo’s assistance. Are you ready?


As you have seen, making this substance — known as oobleck — can teach you a lot about the phases of matter. When you squeeze the oobleck, it feels like a solid. When you release the oobleck and let it sit in your hand, it moves like a liquid. Substances like oobleck are difficult to classify as either a solid or a liquid. They don't quite hold a shape like a solid, but they don't flow like a liquid, either. Since these types of substances don't follow Newton's laws for the three states of matter, they are sometimes called "non-Newtonian fluids." This experiment gave you only one example of MANY things in our world that can be found in two phases of matter at one time. Isn't matter amazing?

Check out the Got It? section to think over all of this information.

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