Try This: Make Galactic Slime

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Try This: Make Galactic Slime

This #SMOatHome is part of Space Day presented by Allied Arts!

Corey from the SMO programs team has a project that’s out of this world! Considering that experts agree that the universe is expanding, he thought that making something that with elastic qualities would be a neat way to to celebrate the Milky Way’s place among all the galaxies in the universe, so here’s how to make your own galactic slime with materials that you probably already have at home!

Try This: Galactic Slime

Here’s what you need:

  • Clear school glue (it must include polyvinyl alcohol or polyvinyl acetate — check the ingredients!)
  • Liquid starch, like Sta Flo
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter (If you don’t have a jar of it on hand, look for an old greeting card that that can be shaken off and used)
  • Bowl or cup 
  • Spoon or something to stir with
  • Measuring cups
  • Container to store your slime
  • Water

 

Here’s what to do:

1. In a bowl or cup, pour ½ cup water and ½ cup clear glue. Stir until the two liquids are mixed completely.

2. Add food coloring and glitter. Mix thoroughly into the glue and water mixture.

3. Pour ¼ cup of liquid starch into the mix. The ingredients will immediately start to form into slime —keep stirring until you have a mixed gooey blob. There should be very little or no liquid remaining after the slime is completely formed.

4. Start kneading the slime. It will appear stringy at first, but kneading it well will create a noticeable consistency change.

5. Place in a clean container and set it aside for a few minutes. Handle the slime again, and notice the change in consistency!

Helpful tip: If the galaxy slime is too sticky, add a little bit more liquid starch. If it’s too slimy, add a little more glue.

What is happening:

One of the components in the glue that you added was either polyvinyl alcohol or polyvinyl acetate. Both are polymers, or long chains of the same repeating molecule. When you mixed the glue with the water then the food coloring and glitter, all of the ingredients were well mixed and free to flow. When the liquid starch was added, it contained sodium tetraborate, which bonds with multiple polymers effectively tying them together in a process called cross-linking. The ingredients can no longer flow independent of each other and are instead one big connected gooey-glob, or slime!