As you begin a great new season of learning this school year, explore the squeezy, squishy science of slime by combining ingredients and watching them change.
- Beads, glitter or recycled items (optional)
- BioColor® BioPutty® Putty Kit (or an alternative slime)
- Using your slime kit, follow the included instructions to combine ingredients to make your slime.
- While you mix the ingredients, take some time to think change. Returning to school for a new year is a change, just as the substances you’re working with are changing. Talk to a family member or friend, considering the following questions:
- In what ways might we be like slime? Do you think we have the ability to change?
- How do you think other children in your grade might feel about going back to school?
- What do you think will be the same about this school year? What might be different?
- Squeeze and stretch your new slime creation, noticing any soothing or satisfying sensations.
- As you continue to play with your slime, ask yourself the following questions, and talk about your answers with family or friends:
- How might you be able to stretch yourself this school year?
- What do you wonder about the next school year?
- Are there any friends you're hoping to see again in school? Do you collaborate well with any of them when working on projects?
- Modify your slime in any way you choose. Experiment with colors, textures and add-ins like glitter, beads or cut-up recyclable items.
Explore your artistic side by creating unique slime designs, mixing colors and inventing your own slime recipes. By stretching your imagination, you’re working on your problem-solving skills and fostering creative thinking — qualities that are essential for a fun and successful school year.
- As you modify your slime, discuss these questions:
- What innovative ideas would you like to explore this year?
- Is there anything new you want to learn or research this school year?
- What are some goals you'd like to achieve this year?
- Once you’re finished, store your slime in an airtight container to use again!
What Are We Discovering?
If you used glue or Bio-Color® Paint to create your slime, you explored polymers. Polymers are large molecules that can be thought of as chains made up of smaller units called monomers. When a liquid activator (like BioPutty® Solution or saline solution with baking soda) is added to the polymer (like Bio-Color® Paint or glue), it causes a chemical reaction. The activator molecules attach themselves to the polymers, causing some of the bonds that hold the chains together to break and then rearrange, forming links with other parts of the chain. This process is known as cross-linking. As the polymers become cross-linked, the slime starts to thicken and solidify. The more cross-links form, the thicker the slime becomes, allowing it to be pulled, stretched and molded into different shapes.
Slime can have different properties depending on the amount of glue and activator used in the mixture. Adding more glue can make the slime stickier, while adding more activator can make it firmer.
As backpacks are freshly filled and school bells start to ring, let the slime you made be a reminder that change can be positive and learning can stretch us in valuable ways!
Keep the Fun and Learning Going!
For more hands-on STEM fun for your family, visit our blog.