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Tempting the Mixture Experiment

Activity Overview

This experiment is a fun experiment about static electricity and its effect on a mixture of cornstarch and oil that is in between a liquid and solid phase. Budding scientists will watch in amazement as the cornstarch mixture seems to magically gravitate towards the balloon and retreat when it is pulled away. You will want to do this one again and again.

Materials Needed

  • Cornstarch
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Large spoon
  • Bowl
  • Balloon
  • Measuring Cup

How to Do It

  1. Mix together 1/3 of a cup of cornstarch and 1/3 of a cup of oil.
  2. Stir the mixtures well until it begins to thicken.
  3. Inflate a balloon and tie it off.
  4. Rub the balloon against your hair or shirt to create static electricity.
  5. Pick up a spoonful of the liquid mixture and bring the balloon close to the spoon and observe what happens. Then move the balloon away from the mixture and then back to it. Observe.

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