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Activities

Homemade Slime

Materials

  • 1 bottle of Elmers white glue
  • Shaving cream (the foam kind, not the gel or cream kind)
  • Borax solution (1 cup warm water with 1 teaspoon borax, mixed until clear)
  • Eye contact lens solution (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Squeeze one bottle of white glue into a medium bowl.
  2. Stir in ½ cup to 1 cup of shaving foam, depending on how fluffy you want your slime to be.
  3. Add food coloring to color desired and stir.
  4. Mix in a few squirts of eye contact solution (this is supposed to make it less sticky).
  5. Add borax solution a teaspoon at a time until the mixture forms a clump in the bowl.
  6. Knead the slime. If it's too sticky, add more solution. If it seems to need more glue or shaving cream or color, you can knead that in, too.

The science behind it!

Slime is a great example of a polymer and a non-Newtonian fluid.

Polymers are long chains of molecules called monomers. Picture a long train where each train car is the monomer and the entire train is the polymer. Check out Polymers: Crash Course Chemistry #45.

Non-Newtonian fluids are fluids that do not follow Newtons law of viscosity. In other words, you can pick up the fluid like a solid, but it oozes. Another famous example of a non-Newtonian fluid is oobleck. Check it out below!

Oobleck

Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup cornstarch
  • Small amount of food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start with the water in a bowl and add the cornstarch a little at a time.
  2. Keep stirring until it has a gooey consistency—you may want to use your hands.
  3. When the oobleck is just right, slowly add food coloring, if you want.

Extension

Have an old speaker lying around?

  1. Cover the speaker with plastic wrap.
  2. Add your oobleck.
  3. Start playing sound.
  4. Watch the oobleck dance!

Check out The Slow Mo Guys and Their Dancing Oobleck in Slow Motion

Homemade Lava Lamps

Materials

  • 1 clear plastic bottle
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Alka Seltzer tablets
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter (optional)

Instructions

  1. Fill a quarter of the bottle with water and add a few drops of food coloring.
  2. Fill the remainder of the bottle with vegetable oil. Do not fill it all the way to the top.
  3. Optional: Add glitter!
  4. Drop half of an Alka Seltzer tablet into the jar to start your lava lamp.
  5. Add more Alka Seltzer to keep it going.

The science behind it!

The oil is less dense than the water, so it sits on top and exerts pressure downwards onto the water.

The Alka Seltzer tablet reacts with the water to form bubbles of carbon dioxide gas!

Homemade Play Doh

Materials

  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 1 ½ cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp of oil (any oil will do*)
  • 2 Tbsp cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Pour 2 cups of flour into a bowl and mix in salt and cream of tartar.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp of oil.
  3. Pour in boiling water. Be careful; the doh is hot!
  4. Mix all the ingredients together until they form the doh.
  5. If you don't want to add any food dye to your play doh, you're finished!
  6. If you do want to make several colors of play doh:
    1. Let the doh cool.
    2. Separate the doh into equal parts and roll it up into balls.
    3. Punch out the middle of the ball to leave a little bowl where you will pour your gel food dye.
    4. Drip your gel dye into the bowls. This is a great time to mix dye colors if you want to make another color.
    5. Knead the doh until the dye is thoroughly mixed. This is very messy! If you don't want to stain your hands, use gloves, and make sure to put something down so you don't stain your counter.

* You can use any oil, and as long as its a kitchen oil, your play doh will be non-toxic and safe if a little one takes a tiny taste. The sodium level is very high, so we don't encourage this to double as a snack.

Websites

Streaming Resources

Free—Paid Subscription Not Required

  • It's Okay To Be Smart: Explore the curious universe with Joe Hanson, Ph.D., who is a curious group of atoms that wants to tell you how it all works.
  • National Geographic: Check in on each days theme to explore the world around you.
  • Periodic Videos: Dive into all things chemistry.
  • Science Bob: Do science experiments with Bob.
  • SciShow: Quench your curiosity about the world around us.
  • Seeker: Follow your curiosity to learn about the science that shapes our world.
  • Smarter Every Day: Explore the world using science with a former U.S. Marine and good dad.
  • Spangler Science TV: Do science experiments with Steve Spangler.

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Contact

South Campus

Erika Zimmermann, Coordinator of Community Outreach
SERS 1110A
5301 Campus Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76119
817-515-4392
Fax: 817-515-0551
generation.hope@tccd.edu

Updated June 29, 2020