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COSI Quicksand

In this chemistry experiment, learners get to make a very bizarre substance using corn starch and water. Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Or is it a different kind of substance entirely? Sometimes known as "Oobleck", this activity is a favorite of learners of all ages.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Liquid and dry measuring cups
  • 1 box cornstarch
  • Water
  • Aluminum pie pan (or other container)
  • Newspaper to cover area
  • Large mixing spoon


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • COSI classroom and online activities


  • All Rights Reserved, COSI Columbus, ©2009


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