Make Slime with Glue and Borax

You will need

  • Elmer’s glue (most kinds of white craft glue will work)
  • 2 disposable cups
  • Food coloring (you pick the color)
  • Water
  • Borax Powder (available at most large grocery stores near the laundry detergent)
  • A plastic spoon (for stirring)
  • A tablespoon (for measuring)

What to do

  1. Fill one small cup with water and add a spoonful of the Borax powder and stir it up. Then set it aside.
  2. Fill the other small cup with about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the glue.
  3. Add three tablespoons (20 ml) of water to the glue and stir.
  4. Add a few drops of the food coloring and stir it up until mixed.
  5. Now the fun part…Add one tablespoons of the Borax solution you made earlier and stir well. Watch the slime form!
  6. After the slime forms let it sit for about 30 seconds and then pull it off the spoon and play with it!

Tip: Keep your slime in a tightly closed plastic bag when you are not playing with it, and keep it away from carpet and your little sister’s hair.

How does it work?

Now for the SCIENCE part…. This POLYMER is unique because it has qualities of both a solid and a liquid. It can take the shape of its containers like a liquid does, yet you can hold it in your hand and pick it up like a solid. As you might know, solid molecules are tight together, liquid molecules spread out and break apart (drops) POLYMER molecules CHAIN themselves together (they can stretch and bend like chains) and that makes them special. Jell-O, rubber bands, plastic soda bottles, sneaker soles, even gum are all forms of polymers. The polymer you made should be kept in a sealed plastic bag when you aren’t playing with it. Also, be sure to keep it away from young kids or pets who might think it’s food. Have fun!

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

  1. How can you make the polymer stretch the farthest?
  2. Does the amount of Borax added change the slime?
  3. What method of storage will make the polymer last the longest?
  4. What brand of glue makes the stretchiest polymer?
  5. Does the amount of water added to the glue affect the gooeyness of the slime?
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ROLL A CAN WITH STATIC ELECTRICITY

You will need

* An empty soda can
* blown-up balloon
* A head of hair

What to do

1. Place the can on its side on a flat smooth surface like a table or a smooth floor.

2. Rub the blown up balloon back and forth through your hair really fast.

3. Now the fun part – Hold the balloon close to the can without actually touching the can. The can will start to roll towards the balloon without you even touching it!

Try This Too: While you’ve got the balloon out, tear up part of a tissue into tiny pieces about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) big. Rub the balloon in your hair again and bring it close to the tissue pieces. They will be attracted to the balloon and then jump away.

How does it work?

This works a lot like our bending water experiment. When you rub the balloon through your hair, invisible electrons (with a negative charge) build up on the surface of the balloon. This is called static electricity, which means “non-moving electricity” The electrons have the power to pull very light objects (with a positive charge) toward them – like the soda can.

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. Does the size of the balloon change the power of the pull?

2. Does the length of the persons hair effect the power of the static electricity?

3. How much water can you put in the can until the balloon can’t pull it anymore?

TRY SOME LAVA IN A CUP

You will need

* A clear drinking glass
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon salt
* Water
* Food coloring (optional)

What to do

Fill the glass about 3/4 full of water .
Add about 5 drops of food coloring – I like red for the lava look.
Slowly pour the vegetable oil into the glass. See how the oil floats on top – cool huh? It gets better.
Now the fun part: Sprinkle the salt on top of the oil.
Watch blobs of lava move up and down in your glass!
If you liked that, add another teaspoon of salt to keep the effect going.

How does it work?

So what’s going on? Of course, it’s not real lava but it does look a bit like a lava lamp your parents may have had. First of all, the oil floats on top of the water because it is lighter than the water. Since the salt is heavier than oil, it sinks down into the water and takes some oil with it, but then the salt dissolves and back up goes the oil! Pretty cool huh?

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. How long will the effect go on if you keep adding salt?

2. Do different kinds of food oil give different effects?

3. Will other substances (sand, sugar. etc.) work the same as salt?

4. Does the height or shape of the glass affect the experiment?

MAKE AN ELECTROMAGNET

You will need

A large iron nail (about 3 inches)
About 3 feet of THIN COATED copper wire
A fresh D size battery
Some paper clips or other small magnetic objects

What to do

1. Leave about 8 inches of wire loose at one end and wrap most of the rest of the wire around the nail. Try not to overlap the wires.
2. Cut the wire (if needed) so that there is about another 8 inches loose at the other end too.

3. Now remove about an inch of the plastic coating from both ends of the wire and attach the one wire to one end of a battery and the other wire to the other end of the battery. See picture below. (It is best to tape the wires to the battery – be careful though, the wire could get very hot!)
4. Now you have an ELECTROMAGNET! Put the point of the nail near a few paper clips and it should pick them up!
NOTE: Making an electromagnet uses up the battery somewhat quickly which is why the battery may get warm, so disconnect the wires when you are done exploring.

How does it work?

Most magnets, like the ones on many refrigerators, cannot be turned off, they are called permanent magnets. Magnets like the one you made that can be turned on and off, are called ELECTROMAGNETS. They run on electricity and are only magnetic when the electricity is flowing. The electricity flowing through the wire arranges the molecules in the nail so that they are attracted to certain metals. NEVER get the wires of the electromagnet near at household outlet! Be safe – have fun!

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. Does the number of times you wrap the wire around the nail affect the strength of the nail?

2. Does the thickness or length of the nail affect the electromagnets strength?

3. Does the thickness of the wire affect the power of the electromagnet?

SEE SOME OPTICAL ILLUSIONS

I know, it’s not exactly an experiment, but illusions are still cool.
Illusions are images that use your EYES to confuse your BRAIN

Take a look at this grid:

grid

Did you notice the small grayish dots between the black boxes. They are not part of the drawing – they were put there by your brain! Scientists call this “visual vibration.” Basically it means that when you see patterns of black and white, your eye sometimes confuses the two and blends them into patterns of gray that you see here. You are seeing something that is not really there!

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Whoa! Is that image spinning? Nope, not even a little bit. In fact, if you look away, it will seem to stop spinning. It’s all in your brain…. The repeated patterns and lines trick your brain into thinking that there is movement as it tries to make sense of the image. Pretty cool, huh?

elephant_illusions

This elephant is missing a leg…or is it? The artist confuses his
viewer by changing they way our brain is used to seeing things.
It seems the more you look at the elephant, the more confusing it gets.

spiraldot

Want to see the gears move?
Look at the dot and then move your head towards the screen and away from it.

3512883

This uses visual vibrations to create a cool effect. Try moving your head close to, and then away from the screen. The fuzzy dots appear to move.

fisher_family

This simple line drawing is titled, “Mother, Father, and daughter” (Fisher, 1968) because it contains the faces of all three people in the title.How many faces can you find?

opticaldotsgif

Look at the dots in the center. Which one is bigger? Like many similar illusions, the dots are the same size…really! It can be hard to tell because your eye uses the other dots to make a comparison.

spiralcircle

Check out the spiral…except it is not a spiral, just circles.
Don’t believe me? Use your finger to follow the fake spiral.
The tilt of the boxes fools your brain into believing it is a spiral.

opticalillusion1

Hey, this is weird. Click on the image to make it bigger. It looks as though it’s moving, but it’s not. The shapes confuse the eye (really the brain) into believing that they are moving.

More from my 

HOW TO MAKE SLIME – METHOD 1

You will need

* 1/4 cup of water
* 1/4 cup of white craft glue (like Elmer’s glue)
* 1/4 cup of liquid starch (used for clothes)
* Food coloring (optional)
* Mixing bowl
* Mixing spoon

What to do

Pour all of the the glue into the mixing bowl.
Pour all of the water to the mixing bowl with the glue.
Stir the glue and water together.
Add your food color now – about 6 drops should do it.
Now add the liquid starch and stir it in.
It should be nice and blobby by now. As you play with your slimy concoction, it will become more stretchy and easier to hold.
Explore your slimy creation and store it in a zip bag when you are not using it.

How does it work?

The glue is a liquid polymer. This means that the tiny molecules in the glue are in strands like a chain. When you add the liquid starch, the strands of the polymer glue hold together, giving it its slimy feel. The starch acts as a cross-linker that links all the polymer strands together.

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT
The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. Does changing the amount of water or glue change the feel of the slime?

2. Do different glues make better slime?

3. How does changing the amount of each ingredient change how the slime turns out?

4. What happens to slime if it is stored out of a bag compared to in a bag?

Science Bob

Blow Up a Balloon with Yeast

You will need

A packet of yeast (available in the grocery store)
A small, clean, clear, plastic soda bottle (16 oz. or smaller)
1 teaspoon of sugar
Some warm water
A small balloon

What to do

1. Fill the bottle up with about one inch of warm water.
( When yeast is cold or dry the micro organisms are resting.)
2. Add all of the yeast packet and gently swirl the bottle a few seconds.
(As the yeast dissolves, it becomes active – it comes to life! Don’t bother looking for movement, yeast is a microscopic fungus organism.)
3. Add the sugar and swirl it around some more.
Like people, yeast needs energy (food) to be active, so we will give it sugar. Now the yeast is “eating!”

4. Blow up the balloon a few times to stretch it out then place the neck of the balloon over the neck of the bottle.
5. Let the bottle sit in a warm place for about 20 minutes
If all goes well the balloon will begin to inflate!

How does it work?

As the yeast eats the sugar, it releases a gas called carbon dioxide. The gas fills the bottle and then fills the balloon as more gas is created. We all know that there are “holes” in bread, but how are they made? The answer sounds a little like the plot of a horror movie. Most breads are made using YEAST. Believe it or not, yeast is actually living microorganisms! When bread is made, the yeast becomes spread out in flour. Each bit of yeast makes tiny gas bubbles and that puts millions of bubbles (holes) in our bread before it gets baked. Naturalist’s note – The yeast used in this experiment are the related species and strains of Saccharomyces cervisiae. (I’m sure you were wondering about that.) Anyway, when the bread gets baked in the oven, the yeast dies and leaves all those bubbles (holes) in the bread. Yum.

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. Does room temperature affect how much gas is created by the yeast?
2. Does the size of the container affect how much gas is created?
3. What water/room temperature helps the yeast create the most gas?
4. What “yeast food” helps the yeast create the most gas? (try sugar, syrup, honey, etc.)

Make a Paperclip Float

You will need

clean dry paper clips
tissue paper
a bowl of water
pencil with eraser

What to do

Fill the bowl with water
Try to make the paper clip float…not much luck, huh?
Tear a piece of tissue paper about half the size of a dollar bill
GENTLY drop the tissue flat onto the surface of the water
GENTLY place a dry paper clip flat onto the tissue (try not to touch the water or the tissue)
Use the eraser end of the pencil to carefully poke the tissue (not the paper clip) until the tissue sinks. With some luck, the tissue will sink and leave the paper clip floating!

How does it work?

How is this possible? With a little thing we scientists call SURFACE TENSION. Basically it means that there is a sort of skin on the surface of water where the water molecules hold on tight together. If the conditions are right, they can hold tight enough to support your paper clip. The paperclip is not truly floating, it is being held up by the surface tension. Many insects, such as water striders, use this “skin” to walk across the surface of a stream.

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. How many paperclips can the surface tension hold?

2. Does the shape of the paperclip affect its floating ability?

3. What liquids have the strongest surface tension?

4. Can the surface tension of water be made stronger? (try sprinkling baby powder on the surface)

A Color Symphony

You will need

A flat tray (like a cookie baking tray)
Food coloring (at least 3 different colors)
Whole milk – low fat milk will not work for this experiment
Liquid soap used for washing dishes

What to do

Carefully pour the milk into the tray so that it just covers the bottom
Add about 6-8 drops of different colored food coloring onto the milk in different spots
Add about 5 drops of the liquid soap onto the drops of food coloring and watch the show!
To clean up, simply pour the colored milk down the drain. (don’t drink it!)

How does it work?

So you know where the color comes from, but why milk and liquid soap? The main job of dish soap it to go after fat and break it down. Usually the fat is on dishes from the food we eat, but fat is also in whole milk. When you drop the liquid soap onto the tray, it tried to break down the fat in the milk. While it was doing that, it caused the colors to scatter and mix creating a very colorful display. Have fun!

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. What liquid dish soap works the best?

2. Does the shape of the tray affect the reaction?

Bend Water With Static Electricity

You will need

A dry plastic comb
An indoor faucet
A head full of clean dry hair.

What to do

1. Turn on the faucet and slowly turn down the water until you have a VERY thin stream of water flowing.

2. Take the plastic comb and brush it through your hair ten times.

3. Now slowly bring the comb close the the flowing water, (without actually touching the water) If all goes well, the stream of water should bend towards the comb! Magic you ask? Not really.

How does it work?

When you brushed that comb through your hair, tiny parts of the atoms in your hair, called ELECTRONS, collected on the comb. These electrons have a NEGATIVE charge. Remember that, its important. Now that the comb has a negative charge, it is attracted to things that have a POSITIVE charge. It is similar to the way some magnets are attracted to certain metals.

When you bring the negatively charged comb near the faucet it is attracted to the POSITIVE force of the water. The attraction is strong enough to actually pull the water towards the comb as it is flowing! If you want to try another experiment with your comb, tear up pieces of tissue until they are as a small as you can get them…I mean really small! Then charge your comb again by brushing it through your hair, and bring it close to the tiny pieces of tissue. If the pieces are small enough they will jump off the table to the comb the same way that the water was pulled to the comb.It is all thanks to the wonders of static electricity.

MAKE IT AN EXPERIMENT

The project above is a DEMONSTRATION. To make it a true experiment, you can try to answer these questions:

1. Does water temperature affect how much the water bends?
2. Does the size of the comb affect the static power?
3. Does the amount of moisture in that air affect the static power? Try it after someone has taken a shower in the room.
4. Does the material that the comb is made of affect the static power?