by STEM facilitator Nedum Aniemeka
Sisters4Science at Woodson has started and we hit the ground sliding! There are a ton of girls coming to the program every week, and they’re all excited to get their hands dirty with some fun science experiments. Well, what the people want, the people get!
One of our Sisters 4 Science regulars, Alanah, mentioned to me that she wanted to repeat the slime experiment that Kiara had done with the girls last year. Making slime is a great way to learn about the chemistry of polymerization, so I made sure to introduce it to the girls. Alanah was not the only girl who was familiar with making slime, as Oshanti was able to tell us that the glue was the main component of the slime. That’s exactly right! Glue is composed of tiny molecules that are held in chains called polymers. When we add the liquid starch, the chains are able to link together and stick to each other to make the consistency of slime. The girls all got to work and were even able to add food coloring to their slime to give it a little flare.
When I asked the girls how we could change the experiment to test their properties of the slime, they all had some wonderful ideas! Kylie said that it would be a good idea to see what would happen if we added more starch to the mixture. Angel suggested that we take the slime out of the bag to see if it would keep the form of the bag. Jendayi asked if we could just not add water and all and see what happens. All great ideas! To test all of these things, the girls were all given starch, glue, and water and asked to try and make the stickiest slime that they could. The winner would be the girl whose slime stuck to the wall after throwing it! Don’t worry, no children were harmed in the completion of this experiment. In the end, our experienced slime maker Alanah was able to make the stickiest slime, but she also had the messiest hands. I can’t wait to see what engineering skills the girls bring to our next experiment!