Mad Science - Slippery Science

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In March our Mad Science Workshop for ages 4-8 investigated polymers, better known to our young scientists as "ooze, goop and slime."  This workshop always makes me think of Dr. Seuss's Bartholomew and the Oobleck a terrific oozy story to read before you begin your experiments.

A simple and fun polymer science experiment to play with is oobleck. Mix 2 parts cornstarch with 1 part water in a large bowl or dishpan and watch what happens.  Now poke it, pick it up, roll it into a ball and generally just get your hands deep into it and see what happens.  This can get messy as the scientists attempt to pick up the oobleck and play with it. Cleans up with soap and water but to minimize the drips place your bowl of oobleck in the sink or bathtub to play. 

For more experiments to try at home check out these books:

Cool Chemistry Concoctions: 50 formulas that fizz, foam, splatter & ooze  lots of fun but can be messy

Plastics and Polymers: science fair projects using hair gel, soda bottles and slimy stuff  experiments and projects best suited to older children

Mudpies activity book and More mudpies  and Mudpies to Magnets  are especially good to use with preschoolers

There are many great polymer experiments available online here are a few to get you started

Make your own slime  the title says it all

Make your own bouncy ball with Bouncy Polymer Chemistry

You can even make your own glue using milk using a recipe from this site

Have fun this month experimenting with polymers. Next month's Mad Science topic is bugs we'll see you then for more science fun.

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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