mssjs
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:59 am
Occupation: Teacher

Electric Play Doh!

Postby mssjs » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:04 am

One of my students wants to do this project for their Science Fair. And I am okay with that. But I do have a question, as I need to get the order requisitions done for materials and I was wondering if anyone knew if it really mattered whether we used the homemade playdoh conductor and insulator or if the store bought playdoh and molding clay worked just as well as the homemade...?

Thanks in advance. :)

rmarz
Expert
Posts: 612
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:26 pm
Occupation: Technology Consultant

Re: Electric Play Doh!

Postby rmarz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:29 pm

ssharrow - The ingredients of home made playdoh that allow it to be conductive are water and table salt. This provides an ionic material that will conduct an electric current. Commercial modeling clay will not conduct an electric current, and so, will act as an insulator. So, in my opinion, the home made playdoh will be fine for these experiments.

Rick Marz

bfinio
Expert
Posts: 429
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:41 pm
Occupation: Science Buddies Staff

Re: Electric Play Doh!

Postby bfinio » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:25 am

Hi ssharrow - I have tested both versions of this. Rick is correct that the homemade stuff works great. I'm not sure what the exact ingredients are in store-bought Play-Doh but it turns out that it's also conductive, and store-bought modeling clay is an insulator as Rick mentioned. So it really comes down to time and money - it will take more time to make the homemade stuff, but it might be cheaper per pound.

mssjs
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:59 am
Occupation: Teacher

Re: Electric Play Doh!

Postby mssjs » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:47 am

bfinio & rmarz - Thanks for the input! I really appreciate it! We will probably stick with making the homemade versions instead.


Return to “Grades K-5: Physical Science”