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Green Goo for You

Science is Fun – and Slimy!

1503_KCD_1Hmmm. Liquid or solid? Have you ever looked at a bowl of Jell-O or played with Silly Putty and wondered, Is that a liquid or a solid?  You may have gone so far as to think that it’s both, and part of the fourth state of matter called plasma. Well, the truth is, unless something is super-hot like lightening, or our sun, it’s probably not plasma.

Jell-O is definitely not a gas. It kind of acts like a liquid, and kind of acts like a solid. So what is it? It is an amorphous solid, a solid that seemingly has no shape and is flexible, but doesn’t truly continue to flow like a liquid. Not unlike Jell-O, slime or goo can be an amorphous solid. Now, let’s make some!

What you need:

• Two disposable plastic cups

• Disposable stirrers

• 2 cups water

• At least one teaspoon powdered borax (sold as 20 Mule Team Borax or Boraxo hand soap)

• White washable school glue

• Green food coloring (optional)

What you do:

1.Pour glue into one cup.

2.Slowly add the same amount of water.

3.Add up to five drops food coloring (if desired).

4.Mix thoroughly.

5.Set aside plastic cup one.

6.Add one teaspoon borax to second plastic cup.

7.Add water until the borax is saturated; stir until all the borax is dissolved into the water.

8.Slowly pour the solution from plastic cup two into the first plastic cup with glue while stirring the mixture. You may not need the entire borax solution. Add until you get the glob consistency you want.

9.Remove the glob that has formed (leaving the excess water behind) and knead the glob until you get it just as slimy as you like it.

10.Add more water to increase slime factor.

11.Make sure to clean up!

Note: Be sure to refrigerate your goo so it doesn’t get moldy, but label it non-edible for interested family members.

Challenge: Try modifying your solutions to see how it changes the sliminess of your goo. What happens when you add more borax? What happens when you add less borax? Can you think of how this goo might be useful?

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