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Make your own ‘bouncy ball’




SHAKE IT UP — Students at Letcher Elementary School mix together cornstarch, corn oil and water in a resealable freezer bag. Pictured are (from left) Brian Bailey, Andrew Jent, Marissa Maggard and Cory Adams.

SHAKE IT UP — Students at Letcher Elementary School mix together cornstarch, corn oil and water in a resealable freezer bag. Pictured are (from left) Brian Bailey, Andrew Jent, Marissa Maggard and Cory Adams.

Fourth-grade students at Letcher Elementary School made rubber bouncy balls out of corn byproducts last week, and you can too by following eight simple steps.

Most bouncy balls bought out of vending machines are made of plastics from petroleum products, which are derived from crude oil. This type of plastic does not decompose or rot and stays in the environment for thousands of years.

The bouncy balls the students made last week are biodegradable, meaning they can decompose and are environmentally friendly.

Jeff Harrod, a mobile science activity coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, visited LES to help students conduct investigations about agriculture and the environment.

“We show students how important agriculture is to our state’s economy and how to help the environment,” said Harrod. Eight Steps 1. Place two tablespoons of cornstarch in a resealable freezer bag. 2. Add four drops of corn oil to the cornstarch. 3. Add 1/8 cup of water to the cornstarch/ corn oil mixture. 4. Close resealable bag and mix well. 5. Add four drops of food coloring. 6. Microwave material for 30 seconds. 7. Cool in ice water. Do not allow water to touch plastic. 8. Take out your newly formed sheet of plastic out of the resealable bag and form into a ball. The bouncy ball must harden for at least 10 hours for best bouncing results.







CHOOSING COLORS — Damian Fletcher, Hunter Campbell, Haley Chadwell and Tekoa Henrikson added food color to their mixtures of cornstarch, corn oil and water.

CHOOSING COLORS — Damian Fletcher, Hunter Campbell, Haley Chadwell and Tekoa Henrikson added food color to their mixtures of cornstarch, corn oil and water.

HEATING UP THE MIXTURE — Alex Collins waits for his plastic while Reanna Caudill, a parent volunteer, operates a microwave.

HEATING UP THE MIXTURE — Alex Collins waits for his plastic while Reanna Caudill, a parent volunteer, operates a microwave.

COOLING OFF PERIOD — Taylor Howard and Logan Halcomb cool down the plastic in a container of ice water.

COOLING OFF PERIOD — Taylor Howard and Logan Halcomb cool down the plastic in a container of ice water.

PROJECT COMPLETE — Ethan Hall shows the final product.

PROJECT COMPLETE — Ethan Hall shows the final product.

EARLY FORM — Morgan Rowe and Courtney Browning take biodegradable plastic out of a freezer bag before Rowe rolls it into a ball.

EARLY FORM — Morgan Rowe and Courtney Browning take biodegradable plastic out of a freezer bag before Rowe rolls it into a ball.

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