"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

29 July 2015

Science Club: Slime

This week was our final meeting of our summer science club, and I saved the best (and messiest) for last. We watched a short video about polymers, then it was time to make our slime! Unlike previous weeks, for this program I led the experiment and asked the children and their families to follow along with me.

Each table was set with a tablecloth (plastic, taped down, and disposable), three bottles of regular water, a handful of craft sticks, and several tubes of food dye. I explained what we were going to do, then had some volunteers pass out cups with about half an inch of Elmer's glue pre-measured inside. This allowed me to use the giant bottle of glue we had in the closet without waiting for everyone to pour their own, and passing them out meant that people had to wait to start their experiment so they were actually listening to me while I was talking.

Once everyone had their glue, I instructed them to add an equal measure of water from the bottles on the table and then mix with their craft sticks. Next, we added food dye, in whatever combination anyone wanted. In order to make sure I knew that everyone was with me, I asked the children to raise their hand when they were done with a step. When I had almost everyone's hands up, I would proceed with the next direction.

Next, I had volunteers hand one bottle of water/borax mix to an adult or teen at each table. They were instructed pour some of the mixture into each person's cup, and each person was then asked to stir their mixture again. This is when the glue became slime, and I gave the kids permission to take the slime out of their cups and play with it. I also set up two wipe stations in the back of the room so kids could clean their hands before leaving.

Finally, I asked my volunteers to pass out containers for the slime. I used the plastic "bubbles" that often come from vending machines outside of grocery stores, but you could use Ziplock bags or something similar. The kids played with their slime and eventually stored it into a container to take with them. I gave the parents a recipe card so they could make the slime at home if they wanted to as well.

While I circulated and took pictures, I made sure my volunteers and some older teens were on the lookout for latecomers who would need instructions and help making their slime. At the end, we removed all the extra water bottles and food dye tubes, then rolled the whole mess up into each tablecloth and threw it away. There was very little mess left to clean up.

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