Slime is one of those easy-to-do, fun activities that never gets old. There is something that everyone loves about making a substance that is gooey and gross. It always reminds me of Halloween and of course, chemistry and polymers.
Oobleck is a suspension of cornstarch and water that can behave like a solid or a liquid depending on how much pressure you apply. Try to grab some in your hand and it will form a solid ball in your palm just until you release the pressure, then it will flow out between your fingers. Materials that behave this way are classified as non-Newtonian liquids because their flow properties are not described by a constant viscosity. The name Oobleck comes from the 1949 children’s book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck, by Dr. Seuss. In the story, King Derwin is bored with the four types of weather in his kingdom. So he tells his Royal Magicians that he wants something new to fall from the sky. Bartholomew begs him not to do it because he knows something bad will happen. But King Derwin doesn’t listen.
Flubber is similar to slime in many ways, sort of just a variation on the recipe. The slight change in the amounts of water, borax and glue makes a big difference in the final product. Try for yourself and check this stuff out. Read more
Elephants Toothpaste is a fun chemical reaction that creates a huge blob of soapy foam that everyone loves. You may have seen us do this experiment as part of our Extreme Science demonstration with super concentrated hydrogen peroxide. Unless you’re a teacher or science museum it’s difficult to obtain the 30% hydrogen peroxide needed to do this experiment. The peroxide you can buy at a drug store is only 3%. You can obtain a 6% solution of peroxide from many local hair salons.
DNA is the blueprint for life. This simple experiment will show you how to extract DNA from fruit like a banana or strawberry. All you need are some fruit and some things you probably have around the house right now.