As part of their unit on matter and chemistry, first graders have studied how water can be a solid, a liquid or a gas. During third quarter students explored the interactions between solids and liquids. This week, our last first grade science lab, they are making a rubbery polymer called Flubber. They measure and mix
- 20 mL of water,
- 25 mL of Elmer’s glue,
- 3 drops of food color.
I add 15 mL of the secret ingredient (laundry borax solution), and while they stir, right before their eyes, the three liquids polymerize into the rubbery goo. Flubber can stretch, slowly, a long way. It flows like a very thick liquid. Pull it quick, though, and it breaks like a solid.
We talked about playing with it on a hard surface, and keeping it out of reach of little hands and pets. I warned them that if they don’t put it away, you’ll throw it away! Keep it in its ziplock bag, zipped up tight. It keeps even longer in the refrigerator! It doesn’t like being stored in the freezer.