Making Gooey Slime with Fizzics Education | Fun with kids

Gooey slime

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You Will Need:

500mL PVA Glue in a cup

Borax: found in the homecare aisle of the supermarket

Food colouring

Mixing bowl and spoon.

A cup of water

PVA Glue and Borax slime science experiment variant - materials needed
1 PVA Glue and Borax slime science experiment variant - adding borax powder to a cup

Dissolve the borax into the water. Keep adding borax won’t dissolve anymore (it’s totally saturated).

2 PVA Glue and Borax slime science experiment variant - pouring PVA glue into plastic container

Gently add 100mL of the super-saturated borax solution to the PVA glue and stir.

3 PVA Glue and Borax slime science experiment variant - mixing PVA glue and borax together

Gooey slime!

Keep adding borax solution to the PVA glue until a thick slime has been produced.

Why Does This Happen?

Polymerization is a very important chemical process that is used to produce all sorts of plastic products for everyday use… e.g.: nylon, paint, synthetic rubber and even chewing gum! The process really involves the joining of small molecules to form long chains that keep repeating.

PVA glue contains polyvinyl alcohol (also known as PVA), a chemical which is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. When borax is dissolved in water, borate ions are released. Putting the two together, borate ions are able to cross-link the long PVA chains by forming weak ionic bonds between them. These bonds are not strong enough to form a complete solid, but just enough to thicken the mixture. This is called a hydrogel, and it is like a matrix, trapping water within its network. The more water you add to it the more it absorbs, even past its maximum capacity. At which point the weak ionic bonds can’t hold on anymore, the network breaks down and all you’re left with is a soupy mess.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • What happens if you use pure PVA solution vs PVA glue? Your science teacher can get PVA solution for you to try out.
  • Add a different type of glue instead of PVA glue.
  • Try adding cornflour… what happens?

Learn more!


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