Slime at Woodson!

February 28th was a busy day for many of our students who could not make it to our session-all except 6th grader, with perfect attendance, Ashanta Dean. It is tough being the only one in the classroom, so STEM Facilitator, Tolu Rosanwo made sure to have a super fun lesson for our superstar! So, they decide to make SLIME!

6th grader, Ashanta Dean

6th grader, Ashanta Dean

They began with a lesson about the basic states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Ashanta also learned a new word, “viscosity” which means, “the resistance to flow.” In order to test if she had the concept down, Tolu gave had a choose which fluids were more viscous. In the picture below, Ashanta is deciding whether maple syrup is more viscous than water.

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Is water more or less viscous than maple syrup?

The answer was, “Maple Syrup!” She was right!

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Ashanta is all smiles for understanding a concept!

Once Ashanta understood viscosity, she performed a slimey experiment. Slime can be made using Elmer’s glue, borax, a salt, water, and a little bit of food coloring.

Ashanta mixing everything together.

Ashanta mixing everything together.

After mixing the reactants together, we are left with a slimey product. Ashanta observed that you can pick up slime like a solid but it also conforms to whatever container it is placed in, like a liquid.

Is it a solid? Is it a liquid?

Is it a solid? Is it a liquid?

Stretchy slime!

Stretchy slime!

The slime is a polymer that has both fluid and solid-like properties. Intrigued by the slime, Ashanta  wrote down her observations and wanted to investigate what would happen if more borax was added when preparing the slime. She predicted, that the slime will become more viscous. She repeated the experiment in order to test her hypothesis.

Writing observations like any good scientist!

Writing observations like any good scientist!

After adding the 2x more borax for the second trial of the experiment, Ashanta stretched the slime as far as she could without breaking it and measured the differences in length between the slimes.

Measuring the differences in length

Measuring the differences in length

Once she measured the differences in length, Ashanta then plotted the values on the board. She and her STEM facilitator talked about the differences between independent and dependent variables, and she decided that the amount of borax added would be the independent variable because the stretch of the slime changed due to how much borax was added! What a scientific thinker she is!

How does Borax affect the length of slime?

How does Borax affect the length of slime?

Twice as borax added to the mixture decreased the stretch of the slime by about half. Ashanta also observed that the polymer was much less fluid and viscous. With two different slime puddies to take home, plotted to throw some at her cousins! But, after reading her journal entry, her STEM facilitator felt confident that Ashanta had learned a bit that day!

Ashanta's journal entry

Ashanta’s journal entry

Who knew that slime could not only be fun but educational?! Science is fun with Sisters4Science!

Tolu Rosanwo

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