The Science Behind Slime!

Student Action Team Update – The Science Team

Our Student Action Teams are continuing on into Term 2 and because of the students’ careful planning and preparation, there were two teams already offering workshops in the first week! Those that have completed their workshops have begun writing up a reflection on how they felt their workshops went, such as any challenges that arose, what they would improve on as well as celebrating what was successful.

The Science Workshop

Due to the popularity of slime, the Science Workshop team thought that making it from scratch would be an effective way to integrate Science.

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“When Borax and Glue come together they create polymers. Polymers are molecules” 

Through considerate planning, the team introduced the science behind slime making by presenting a short TED talk clip about polymers. Here is a quote from the clip:

“You are made of polymers, and so are trees and telephones and toys. A polymer is a long chain of identical molecules (or monomers) with a range of useful properties, like toughness or stretchiness — and it turns out, we just can’t live without them. Polymers occur both naturally — our DNA is a polymer — and synthetically, like plastic, Silly Putty and styrofoam.” (Jan Mattingly, TED Talk, 2013).

After the clip, a Science Workshop team member drew a visual display of monomers and a chain of polymers on the board. Students participating in the workshop were asked about what they had learned so far.

“Everyone uses polymers in everyday life”

“It’s impossible to live without them.”

The team then explained the process of making slime which involved mixing two ingredients (monomers) some optional extras (food dye and glitter) to create slime (polymer). The team had thoughtfully set up tables with bowls of the ingredients required so students could just go straight to a station and begin the slime making process.

Some quotes from the students who participated in the workshop:

“We mixed glue and food colouring together then added Borax to the glue mixture which made it really sticky.”

“We had to stir it with a stick until it was too hard to stir, then we had to mix it with our hands”

“If you have warm hands it gets sticky, I’m pretty sure the heat from our hands melts it.”

“The more you knead it the smoother it gets.”

“Little polymers connect with molecules to make a

squishy and stretchy substance like rubber.”

“Polymers are good and they are also bad. They’re good because they can make silly putty but they’re bad because they can make plastics that do not breakdown. This is not good for the environment.”

“Polymers can squish into a mini ball from heat.”
Well done Science Workshop team! And for more on student action teams, click here!

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