Sixth Grade

Starlite – Heat Resistant Magic!


Sixth graders are exploring heat transfer. In this lesson, they learned of a substance made with household items that supposedly blocks the transfer of heat! A famous hairdresser, Maurice Ward created Starlite and took the recipe with him to the grave. Since then, scientists have done their best to replicate it. Sixth graders used one of the commonly known recipes (cornstarch, baking soda and glue)to create their own Starlite. Next, they conducted an experiment to test it’s ability to block heat.

Question to Explore

Can a substance made of household items (Starlite) really block the transfer of heat?


  • Constarch (10 teaspoons)
  • Baking soda (1 teaspoon)
  • Elmer’s glue (4 teaspoons)
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Candle
  • Lighter
  • Eggs (two)
  • Wire hanger (bent to hold the Starlite wrapped egg over the candle) or metal shelf


  1. Make the Starlite
    1. Add 10 teaspoons of cornstarch to a bowl.
    2. Add one teaspoon of baking soda. Mix.
    3. Add 4 teaspoons of PVA Elmer’s glue. Mix with a spoon. Then knead it with your hands for about 5 minutes until you get a putty like consistency.
    4. If the Starlite is too sticky, add a bit more cornstarch.  If it is too dry, add 1/2 teaspoon of glue.
  2. Wrap one egg in Starlite
  3. Keep the other egg bare
  4. Light your candle and prepare your hanger or metal shelf so the egg is secure about one inch above the flame.
  5. Place your bare egg above the candle.  Keep it there for about 5-10 minutes.  Then, remove the egg.  Feel the shell for warmth.
  6. Crack the egg in a bowl and see if it cooked.
  7. Next, place your Starlite covered egg above the candle for the same amount of time. Then, remove the egg and unwrap the Starlite.  Feel the shell for warmth.
  8. Crack the egg in a bowl and see if it cooked.
  9. Compare the results of the two eggs.


When students cracked open the eggs and compared the egg wrapped in Starlite to the bare egg, they noticed that while the bare egg had begun cooking, the egg wrapped in Starlite was completely raw. After students saw Starlite’s impressive insulating abilities, I wrapped my finger in Starlite and placed it over a candle flame. Students were amazed to see that my finger was impermeable to the heat!


This is where I found the idea for the activity:


Here is a graphic organizer I created for students to record their observations:

Starlite Experiment


We watched this video to conclude the experiment: