Science projects are valuable tools for teaching children about the various branches of science through hands-on experiments. An added benefit of these activities, especially if they are fun, is that they can spark an interest in the sciences that could help your child excel in school and even shape their future career goals. An active and engaging science project sure to be a hit with kids is slime making.
What You'll Need
To make slime you'll need a measuring cup with at least one cup capacity. You'll also need boiling water, so if this project is for young children, make sure they have proper supervision. This project requires gelatin, which, unlike Jell-O dessert, comes colorless and unsweetened. You can add your own coloring using food coloring if you'd like. You'll also need corn syrup and a fork to stir the mixture.
Pour half a cup of boiling water into the measuring cup. Add three teaspoons of the gelatin to the hot water and allow it to soften before stirring it with the fork. Add a quarter cup of the corn syrup and stir the mixture. The substance should look thick and stringy. Begin stirring in small amounts of water until you achieve your desired consistency.
How it Works
The combination of water, syrup and gelatin created protein strands. Protein strands give the substance its stretchy, sticky consistency. The protein was provided through the gelatin you mixed in. Gelatin is made from animal by-products such as connective tissues, bones and skin that have been boiled down and transformed into a hydrolyzed from of collagen.
How to Use for Educational Purposes
Sure, the slime is fun to play with, but it can also be used as an educational tool or for a school science project. The protein-strand substance you made is basically the same stuff produced in nature, commonly called mucus. Mucus membranes produce a substance made of water, sugar and protein. If you want to use this experiment for a science project, you can show how you used water, sugar from corn syrup and protein from the gelatin to make mucus. You could even use dust and other particulate on the slime to show how mucus works to trap foreign particles to keep us healthy and breathing freely.