And this was the explanation which best addressed each separate point from my other class....
"It is possible the water molecule's small size, polarity, and ability to form H bonds allow oobleck to form. The water molecules surround the cornstarch. When it is pressed down on, they are "squeezed out" from between cornstarch molecules, leaving only the solid cornstarch. The same principle applies when simething is drawn quickly across the surface.
•Oil is a large, non-polar molecule that cannot form H bonds. This means it cannot surround the cornstarch molecules as closely, or form h bonds, which would form, break and reform as molecules slide past each other.
•Alcohol is also a polar, like water. However, the proportion of the molecule that can form H bonds is smaller than water's. Besides, alcohol is much larger than water, and again, cannot surround the CS as closely.
•Hydrogen peroxide is polar and small. In concentrated hydrogen peroxide, an oobleck-like product is formed, supporting the first theory. However, hydrogen peroxide is very reactive, which may mean it reacts with the CS it comes into contact with, explaining the not-quite-oobleck qualities.
—Side note on ammonia: the reactions may be with the CS hydroxyl groups and produce ketones, some of which smell like nail polish/polish remover. The mixture did have a faint smell that would not be expected from either hydrogen peroxide or CS on their own, but this is inconclusive.
•Ammonia is small, polar, and unreactive. When an ammonia solution (in water) was mixed w CS, oobleck was produced. This supports the hypothesis that the properties of oobleck are due to how closely the molecules in the liquid component of the suspension can surround the CS, and whether or not they can form H bonds.
—To test this: mix a liquid made of small, non-polar, non-h bond-forming molecules with CS, see if it makes oobleck or not. This might show whether the molecule's size or polarity has a greater effect on its oobleck-forming abilities. "