TCI Free Lesson: Is Slime a Liquid or Solid

In this free lesson activity from TCI, have your students create slime and then debate it’s properties!

Are you ready for some TCI Halloween Science fun!?  Use this fun activity to have students create slime and then debate it’s properties!

Essential Question

Is Slime a Liquid or Solid?

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Preview

1.  As students enter class, divide them into heterogeneous groups of three.
2.  Prepare the materials needed for groups to make their own slime using the recipe sheet (attached) OR consider having some slime made in advance of the class.  If you have time, have the students make it though, as that’s half the fun!
3.  Challenge the students to try to make their slime into forms like a ball.

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Activity:

1.  Tell groups that they will have 7-10 minutes to prepare an answer to the essential question and provide evidence to support the argument.  They may use their text, the web, or other resources you provide to help them.
2.  Provide the students with links to resources that might help them….like:   http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryactivities/ss/slimerecipe.htm,  http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2000-10/971714143.Ch.r.html, and https://explorable.com/make-your-own-slime-experiment
3.  Make sure to pick one person per group who will act as group spokesperson to share their argument with the class.
4.  When it is time, ask each group spokesperson to stand up.  Allow the groups to respond to the discussion question.
5.  Consider having the discussion scored by challenging students to paraphrase previous presenters, ask probing questions, and behaving in a civil way when disagreeing with another group.  For more ideas on how to run the discussion portion of this exercise, visit: Creating Passionate Debates
6.  After all the groups have completed, share your thoughts as well as ask the students where they might find other Non-Newtonian liquids such as slime?

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Process

1.  Consider having the students create a faux monster movie poster (circa the 1950s) that uses the terms such as Slime, Non-Newtonian Liquid or polymer as part of the poster.  Include other terms as you see fit.
2.  Students could use software or apps like PowerPoint, Phoster or create the poster on paper and color with markers/colored pencils/crayons.

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Recipe for Slime

Materials:

-water
-white glue (like Elmer’s™)
-borax
-food coloring (unless you want uncolored white slime)

Directions:

There are two components to slime. There is a borax and water solution and a glue, water, and food coloring solution. Prepare them separately.

1.  Mix 1 teaspoon borax in 1 cup of water. Stir until the borax is dissolved.
2.  In a separate container, mix 1/2 cup (4 oz) white glue with 1/2 cup water. Add food coloring, if desired.
3.  After you have dissolved the borax and diluted the glue, you are ready to combine the two solutions. Stir one slime solution into the other. Your slime will begin to polymerize immediately.
4.  The slime will become hard to stir after you mix the borax and glue solutions. Try to mix it up as much as you can, then remove it from the bowl and finish mixing it by hand. It’s okay if there is some colored water remaining in the bowl.
5.  The slime will start out as a highly flexible polymer. You can stretch it and watch it flow. As you work it more, the slime will become stiffer and more like putty. Then you can shape it and mold it, though it will lose its shape over time. Don’t eat your slime and don’t leave it on surfaces that could be stained by the food coloring.
6.  Store your slime in a sealed ziplock bag, preferably in the refrigerator. Insect pests will leave slime alone because borax is a natural pesticide, but you’ll want to chill the slime to prevent mold growth if you live in an area with high mold count. The main danger to your slime is evaporation, so keep it sealed when you’re not using it.

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