My Science Fair Project
November 2nd, 2013 by alton


My school is going to have a science night and my third-grade teacher asked me if I wanted to be in the science fair. I asked my mom and dad if I could be in it and they were happy to help me.

First, I had to come up with a question I had to answer. I thought about a lot of things, but my dad told me to choose a question that I could answer right now with materials that I had at home or at school. I remember going to the library and seeing that the daily activity for kids was about making slime. I could mix this white powder with some liquid in a little cup and it turned into slime. I wondered if adding more powder would make the slime thicker so I could make a bouncy ball out of it. Dad said that would be a good question to try and answer for my science fair project.

My dad showed me how to use Google to look up words on the Internet. I looked up “slime,” “chemistry,” and “science fair.” We found some videos on YouTube that showed people mixing stuff and making slime. Dad helped me find some websites that were about the chemistry of slime. I learned that when a group of atoms bond together they make a molecule. When you mix borax powder with water, it makes a solution. When you add polyvinyl alcohol powder to the solution, it turns into slime. Dad said that polyvinyl alcohol can be called PVA. PVA is a molecule that has a long shape like string. The PVA strings slip and slide past each other in water. The borax powder is another molecule. When you mix them together in water, the borax bonds to the PVA molecule strings and makes them stick together. This makes it slimy.

Dad asked me how I could use this information to answer my question. I said we could add different amounts of borax powder to PVA and see if that would make it thicker and bouncier. How much borax do we need to turn the PVA into a solid? Dad said that now I had a question to answer, I was ready to create a science experiment. My dad calls it an investigation. He took me to his school and he helped me get all the materials.

He explained to me how important it is to be safe and to wear goggles to protect your eyes and wear an apron to protect your clothes. He also showed me where all the materials and chemicals were kept in his classroom. He showed me where I could put my notebook and where I could put all of my materials that I would need for the science experiment. He explained how I should always write in my notebook everything that I did for my experiment. That way, I would always have a record of what I did in case I forgot or made a mistake.

With my dad watching me, I first made a 4% solution of PVA powder in water. I weighed 40 grams of PVA and put it into a big beaker and added water to make 1 liter. I heated the water until the powder dissolved. I added drops of green food coloring to the PVA solution so I could make green slime. Next, my dad and I made different borax solutions with different amounts of borax in the same amount of water. The borax solutions were 0% borax, 2% borax, 4% borax, 6% borax, 8% borax, 10% borax, 25% borax, 50% borax, and 75% borax, but the borax started to not dissolve all the way when it was 10% borax.

With everything ready to go, I got nine beakers put 50 mL of green PVA solution into each beaker. I added 50 mL of the different borax solutions into the nine beakers and stirred them with a glass rod to make slime. Next, I put each slime into a little cup with a glass rod and drained the liquid back into the beaker. Dad said that I could test to see how thick the slime was by dropping a marble into each cup and waiting to see how long it took to sink.

I found out that you cannot keep adding borax to water and have it dissolve every time. Also, no matter how much borax you add to PVA, it will not turn the slime into a solid. The slime gets thicker, but not very thick to make a bouncy ball. At the end, my dad let me mix all the slime cups together and I made a big gooey ball of slime!

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