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RUBBER ROCK

Use cornstarch to make a substance that behaves like a solid and a liquid

Suitable For

Grade 4

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <24 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

The large land masses of the earth are slowly but constantly drifting about the earth’s surface. The surface layer of the earth is called the ‘crust’ and just below is a layer called the ‘mantle’.

These layers are both made of solid material, but a small layer in between the crust and the mantle exists called the ‘partial melting zone’. This layer consisting of a strange putty-like liquid, and is the reason the earth’s crust ‘slides’ around on top of the mantle layer. In this science experiment we will create is similar putty-like liquid that behaves both like a solid and a liquid:

Topics covered

Mantle, Partial melting zone, Viscosity

What will I need?

  • BOWL
  • MEASURING CUP
  • CORNSTARCH
  • SPOON
  • TAP WATER
  • PLASTIC CUP

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

‘Viscosity’ is the term used to describe the ability of a liquid to flow, in other words, the level of internal friction within a liquid affecting its rate of flow. In the earth’s ‘partial melting zone’, the high pressures that exist turn the rock into a partially liquefied substance of high viscosity. You can say it’s a kind of putty-like liquid sea, upon which the continents drift!

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