Make a Fistful of Slime!

Fifth Grade Science Activities: Make a Fistful of Slime!

What You Need:

  • Bowl (preferably a wide shallow bowl) 
  • Measuring cups
  • Water
  • Cornstarch
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Resealable plastic bag

What You Do:

  1. Pour ⅓ cup of water into the bowl. If you want to add food coloring, drip five drops into the water. 
  2. Measure ¾ cup of cornstarch and begin sprinkling it into the water, a little at a time, until the measuring cup is empty.
  3. Let the concoction stand for three or four minutes. Have your child predict what the mixture will feel like. 
  4. Now reach a hand (or both!) into the concoction. If needed, add more water or cornstarch. 
  5. Press the slime into a hard ball. Open your hand and watch and feel the ball return to its liquid state!
  6. Talk with your child about solids and liquids. Ask: What do you think this slime is? Why?
  7. Discuss polymers, using the information below to guide your conversation. 
  8. Store your slime in a resealable bag. (Never pour slime down the drain. If you need to discard it, put it in the trash.)

Why it Works

Slime is a Polymer (a natural or man-made compound made of long chains of identical molecules called monomers). It's also a "non-Newtonian fluid." That means it breaks the rules that scientist Isaac Newton wrote saying a liquid moves and acts the same whether you're squeezing it, holding it, or just observing it. How does it do it? Cross-links of molecules and the right proportion of ingredients!

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