Monday, April 15, 2013

Oobleck on a Speaker!

For a science fair project, one student is exploring oobleck on a speaker.  This have been something I've been interested in for awhile (see previous post on oobleck).  We were pretty excited that first day when we saw it begin to dance!

The song that worked best this first time around? All Around the World by Justin Bieber. Who knew?

However, the oobleck's movements did not quite have the alien qualities that make oobleck on a speaker so compelling.  Especially compared to this Sonos subwoofer commercial...

We were determined to learn more.

One of my students puzzled over this, trying to understand why the cornstarch "worked" some times and not others. And why it seemed to work on my little speakers, but not the large subwoofer he brought from home.  Finally, he decided that it had to do with the frequency. (He was right.)

This student went on to have the brilliant idea to look up subwoofer test videos on YouTube.  This YouTube video (1) was pretty good, and YouTube video (2) seem to do the trick, but we finally found YouTube video (3) - and it was awesome!  We decided that a frequency near 25 - 45 Hz is best.  Lower or higher than that, the cornstarch just sort of lays there and vibrates....

We tried all sorts of dubstep and heavy bass, but only some songs worked.

For Cornstarch - Take Two, we highlighted Drop It Low by Ester Dean ft. Chris Brown.

This never gets old.  I could seriously watch it all day!

UPDATE 4-21-13: Based on a tip* we received, we tried it again, adding a few drops of FOOD COLORING to the mix before we played the music.  Wonderful!

*Finally, here is the other oobleck-related blog post which was shared with me (hence the "tip").  Image shared from that post >>

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