INTRODUCTION:

A thick, putty-like, sticky slime oozes its way out of simple materials you probably have at home.

The very best part about slime and making slime is all the options you have for the final blob. Depending on how you mix the same ingredients, you can make a slime that’s stringy, snotty, runny, gooey, or more like a solid. It’s up to how you want to make it. This particular variation on slime will probably remind you of similar thick goo you can find in toy stores. This popular version of do-it-yourself slime is easy to make, clean (mostly), and a great tool for studying the properties of polymers. But – hey – who wants to study when you can have fun?!

PURPOSE:

In this experiment, you will demonstrate polymerization by creating slime.

EQUIPMENT:

Goggles and apron
Plastic cup
Measuring spoons
Popsicle sticks
Borax
Elmer's glue
Water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Each person in your lab group must read every page in this online procedure. Along the way, there will be questions that you must answer.
  2. Designate one person in your group as the Data Recorder. This person should open the Google document Experiment 13 - A Time for Slime for the approved answer template.
  3. When this Google document opens, sign in to your Google account.
  4. From the FILE Menu, choose Make a copy...
  5. From the FILE Menu, choose Rename...and rename the document as follows: Exp 13 - Period (1, 3, 6, or 8) - Group #.
  6. Share this document with the members of your group and with Mr. Skubis at HSTChemistry@gmail.com.
  7. As a group, answer all questions. Remember to use complete sentences and be mindful of grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  8. REMEMBER: **Plagiarism** is a form of **Academic Dishonesty** which carries harsh consequences. DO YOUR OWN WORK!


PROCEDURE:

Using the data table in the accompanying Google Doc, RECORD at least ONE OBSERVATION after each procedure step.
Goggles and aprons MUST be worn for this experiment.

What to expect


As you stir the borax and glue solutions together, the mixture becomes thick. It also attaches to the popsicle stick. When you pull slowly, your slime will stretch. However if you pull quickly it will break. Slime will slowly flow making it seem like a liquid, but it can also bounce which makes it seem a bit like a solid.
  1. In a glass beaker, prepare a borax solution by mixing 1 level teaspoon of powdered borax into 60 ml of water. Mix until as much borax dissolves as possible. This is your borax solution.
  2. If you would like your slime to be a certain color, add one or two drops of food coloring to your borax solution.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of water into a plastic cup and add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of Elmer's glue. Stir with a popsicle stick until the glue and water are thoroughly mixed. This is your Sample 1 glue solution. See table below.
  4. Measure 15 ml of the borax solution and add 1 drop of food coloring. Slowly pour the borax solution into the glue solution, and stir with a clean popsicle stick. You should notice a sudden change in the solutions. Your slime is done when you can pick up your popsicle stick and most of the slime comes out on the stick.
  5. When you have some nice thick slime, pull it off the popsicle stick and move it back and forth between your hands. The more you play, the less sticky it gets.
  6. Try pulling the slime very slowly to see if it stretches.
  7. Form the slime into a ball and see if it bounces.
  8. You could put it over the bottom of an upside down cup and watch it slowly flow down.
  9. Try flattening your slime into a pancake and then holding it from one edge to see what it does.

What else could you try?

  • The only way to make a thicker or a runnier slime using white glue is to add more or less borax solution as you mix it together. You can’t just add water to make it runnier. This means you can make a variety of test consistencies of slime in several cups and figure out proportions of ingredients for the one(s) you need or like best. Then all you do is scale-up the formula to the quantity you want to have/need.
  • Water is an important ingredient in slime. Water helps the polymer molecules slide past each other so that your slime can flow. If you let the water evaporate, your slime will end up like a solid piece of plastic.
  • Try making 2 additional samples of slime with different amounts of water and compare them to your first piece of slime. In each sample, follow the instructions to make the slime that you followed before, but change the amount of water you add to make the glue solution.
Sample
Glue
Water
Borax Solution
1
1 tablespoon
(15 ml)
1 tablespoon
(15 ml)
15 ml
2
1 tablespoon
(15 ml)
0
15 ml
3
1 tablespoon
(15 ml)
2 tablespoons
(30 ml)
15 ml


ANALYSIS:

The glue has long flexible molecules in it called polymers. These polymer molecules slide past each other as a liquid.
Borax in water forms an ion called the borate ion. When the borax solution is added to the glue solution, the borate ions help link the long polymer molecules to each other so they cannot move and flow as easily.
When enough polymer molecules get hooked together in the right way, the glue solution changes from being very liquidy to a rubbery kind of stuff that we call slime!
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CLEAN UP:

  1. Flush all liquids down the sink with plenty of water.
  2. Discard solid chemicals in the trash. REMEMBER: NEVER return chemicals into stock!
  3. Wash and dry all lab material and return to equipment station.
  4. Wipe you lab table with wet paper towels and dry.
  5. Hang up your apron and goggles.