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April 26, 2019

Dimitra Neonakis

Cool Classroom Activity: Slime

Topics: Kids And Creativity, Creativity, STEM Education / Play, Learning at Home

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Calling all parents and teachers! Are you looking for a way to inspire in-depth discussions involving slime? If so, this lesson is just for you! Please enjoy these slime activities geared towards elementary school children. It is advised to wear goggles before starting this lesson and a “lab coat” or “lab apron” is also recommended. An old button-down shirt would work too. Children will love the concepts that will be introduced from this lesson. Prepare to have sticky fingers and lots of fun!
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Objectives:


1. Observe and discuss the properties of solids, liquids and gasses.
2. Create a non-newtonian fluid
3. Observe the properties of a non - newtonian fluid
4. Differentiate between physical change and chemical change

Key Words:


1. solid - a substance whose molecules are vibrating in place. Has a definite size, volume and shape.
2. liquid - a substance whose molecules are rolling over each other. Has definite volume and size takes on the shape of its container
3. gas - a substance whose molecules are moving very quickly. Takes on the volume size and shape of its container.
4. non - newtonian fluid - a substance with properties of both a solid and a liquid, depending on the force applied
5. polymer - a long molecule made of many repeating units. ex slime, plastic, DNA
6. property - a characteristic of a substance you can measure or observe
7. physical change - a change in physical characteristics or state without changing the chemical identity of the substance.
8. chemical change - a difference in properties caused by a chemical reaction changing the chemical identity of the substances that went into the reaction. Involves the making and breaking of chemical bonds.

 

Pre-lab Song:

They Might be Giants – Solid, Liquid, Gas, Pre K – 5th

 



Procedure:

 

Dissolve 1 tsp of borax in 1 C warm water. Set aside. The borax will cross link the glue molecules making a very long chain of repeating units called a polymer. After making the slime and playing awhile offer the following compare and contrast exploration. Plastic is a polymer.

 

Discussion:

How are its properties different from slime? How is it similar? Offer plastic wrap and Tupperware as points of comparison. Honor critical thinking.

Fun Facts!

Did you know you can't expose Tupperware to the very cold temperatures found in space or it will shatter?

DNA is also a polymer. It carries your genome and codes for protein.

 

Pre-lab Video:

Non-Newtonian Fluids Pre K – 5 Crash Course Kids

 

 

 

Procedure:


Mix 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of Elmer's glue with some food coloring. If you use white glue your slime will be pale. If you use clear glue you can get vibrant jewel tones and glitter shows up better. Add the borax solution one teaspoon at a time until the mass begins to adhere and become viscous. It will take on new properties. It is a non newtonian fluid.

 

Discussion:

Play with it and explore the properties. Let it drip from your fingers. Pull it fast. Punch it. Make bubbles. Squeeze it. What happens?

 giphy-7

Use descriptive language to describe it. You can use both facts and opinions but be sure children are aware factual description is scientific and feeling description is poetic.

Play with slime. Play with words. Create a little written blurb for social media...will it be scientific or poetic? Can it be both? You might try a haiku or an acrostic. A haiku has a traditional structure of five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. An acrostic uses each letter of a word to start a line in a poem.
 

It should be noted that slime can be stored in a ziplock bag for up to a month or more. Slime is fun to make and play with as well as the foundation for a great discussion!

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 10.28.31 AMDimitra Neonakis always had a love for science and nature, but came late in life to formal science education. With degrees in visual and performing arts and an environmental monitoring certificate, Dimitra brings her A game to STEAM education. Dimitra has designed and classroom-tested science activities for formal and informal k-12 and collegiate science education since 2005. She works both with at risk and neurodiverse populations as well as typical students. Students fondly refer to her as Ms. Dee and Ms. Frizzle and they all agree that science is fun!

 

Are you a former or current educator who is interested in guest blogging for ThinkFun? Please contact us for more information! You could be featured in our next blog post and TeachFun e-newsletter!

 

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