Thursday, November 22, 2012

PVA Slime

Here at Science in a Van we have been enjoying exploring the Material World recently.  Making PVA Slime is a bit of classic and it is fantastic as it introduces polymers in a fun way.

You will need:
  • 100mls of PVA glue
  • 2 tablespoons of borax (You can get this from the chemist)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 empty cups
  • Something to stir it with 
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Zip lock bag (Optional)
  • Gloves (to handle the borax)

  1. Mix the borax with the water give it a good stir. The Borax will not fully dissolve so don't worry if it sits at the bottom.
  2. Put the PVA glue into the other cup. (If your using food colouring add it now)
  3. Take a tablespoon of your mixed up borax and water mix - put it into the PVA mix and stir. 
  4. Repeat step 3 until it thickens up and looks like slime
  5. Remove the bulk of the slime, pour away the excess liquid, roll it into a ball and store in a zip lock bag.

Have fun playing with your slime. Do wash your hands after use and I don't care how good it looks - don't eat it!  

So what's going on. The Polyvinyl Alcohol molecule structure is a polymer. Basically, a polymer indicates that all the all the molecules are are linked together.  To understand it better, a good contrast is water.  Water is monomer - all the molecules are independent of each other and roll over one another.  

The PVA molecules are bit like spaghetti. They are rolling and sliding around each other. The borax enables links between the spaghetti type strands. Theses strands can no longer freely move as they did before. This gives us a new material with different properties.

Have fun with your slime.  Try adding different colours or glitter. Science in a Van would like to see your groovy goos.


'What's the Matter' is a fun and interactive Science Show which explores the Material World strand of the NZ Science Curriculum for Years 4 and above.  'The Wonderful World of Bubbles' introduces The Material World for juniors.  Learn how Science in a Van can enhance your Science Programme with their live, interactive and engaging Science Shows  

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