By Aurora Lipper
In the homeschool science projects that I teach, I call this “The Science of Slime.” You will experience the same slimy feeling that you experience while holding a fish or a squid. Eeks!
Here are some fun science activities that you can do at home.
Take half a cup of water and mix a teaspoonful of Borax (found at the laundry section of your grocery store) in it. Stir the mixture vigorously with a popsicle stick. Alternatively, you can put the mixture in a glass jar with a lid and shake, shake, shake. Once the borax dissolves, add some more till it no longer dissolves. Take another cup and mix glue and water in equal proportions.
Now add a globule of this glue mixture to the borax mixture. Stir with the popsicle stick and empty the contents on the palm of your hand. Roll the mixture on your hands till it gets drier and becomes bouncy. Now let it roll onto your table and see it bounce. Pick it up and squeeze it and watch it slither through your fingers.
You can add some food coloring of your choice while preparing the slime for added effect. Involve your friends in your homeschool science activities. Place the slime in the hand of another friend who does not know what you are holding. YUCK!
Take a paper cup and add a tablespoon of liquid starch (found at the laundry section of your grocery store) to it. Add a globule of glue mixture (same as the above) to it and stir with a popsicle stick. Empty the contents on the palm of your hand and roll it from hand to hand until it gets drier. What is the difference between this and the Bouncy Gunk?
Take a cup of cornstarch in a bowl. Slowly add cold water and begin mixing with your fingers. If it is too runny, mix another cup of cornstarch and mix gently with your fingers. It must not be too dry and not too wet. Now you can do different things with it. Take in on the palm of your hand and squeeze it. Cut it with a pair of scissors. Pat it with a ladle. Throw it up in the air and see how it behaves before you catch it. Have fun!
When you are not playing with your homemade slime, you can place it in a plastic zip-lock bag. Slime collects dust and dirt, and therefore remember to discard the slime when it gets dirty.
In today’s science activity, you have learned about substances called polymers. Jelly, rubber bands and gum are all different types of polymers. Some polymers act as solids and we can hold them in our hands. At the same time they take the shape of the containers they are placed in, thus behaving as liquids do. Polymers that are harder are also used in parts of cell phones, spectacles and other household articles.
Do some research and find out various things made up of polymers. Learn about the molecular structure of polymers.
Looking to experience Hand On Science activities right here in our own area? Visit www.TheChildrensScienceCenter.org, where you and your children can “Explore, Create, Inspire.” The Children’s Science Center (CSC) is committed to building a place where children can grow in their love of learning.
Since 1996, Aurora Lipper has been helping families learn science. As a pilot, astronomer, mechanical engineer and university instructor, Aurora forms the bridge between the scientific and educational worlds. She specializes in getting kids crazy-wild about science and helping parents launch their kids into their full potential. Get your hands on her free Science Activity Guide at www.SuperchargedScience.com.