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A Seuss-Inspired Science Study at McKenna

Is it a solid or a liquid? That was the question that fifth-graders had to answer when observing Oobleck at McKenna Elementary School.

The answers varied andstudents had to support their claim with five pieces of scientific evidence. They discovered that Oobleck is a non-Newtonian fluid that can be considered a solid or a liquid depending upon on how much pressure is applied to the gooey substance. The green slime is inspired by the Dr. Seuss book, “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.”

After this scientific discovery, students had to build spacecrafts that could land on an ocean of Oobleck, explore the whole planet, and take off again with passengers on board. The groups researched ideas on Chromebooks and each developed unique ideas for landing and take-off features keeping the properties of Oobleck in mind. Students used recycled materials such as cardboard boxes, Popsicle sticks, egg cartons, straws and more to build their spacecrafts.

The STEAM activity, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math through hands-on inquiry, was led by fifth-grade teacher Maggie Rago and Magnet/STEAM teacher Michelle Scott. They explained that children learned about the engineering designing process while also learning the importance of collaboration and teamwork.