Brief Description:

Students learn about chemistry and make goo.

Grades: K-8

Time: 1 hour

Keywords: chemical engineering, chemical reaction, products, reactants, atoms, elements


Lesson Objectives

  • Students will be introduced to the concept of chemistry, including the vocabulary atom, element, products, and reactants.

Materials

  • Water
  • Plastic cups
  • spoons/popsicle sticks
  • Measuring cups
  • Borax
  • Food coloring
  • Elmer’s glue (recommended that you get the gallon jug of it)
  • Plastic bags

Procedure

    1. Introduce students to the idea of chemical engineering. Chemical engineering produces and transforms chemicals into new materials and/or energy.
    2. Define the words chemical, atom, element, periodic table of elements, products, and reactants. Can the students think of examples of elements? What about of chemical substances?
    3. Explain that chemical reactions are written out, much like math problems are. Instead of an equals sign, chemical equations use an arrow. The substances on the left side of the arrow are known and the reactants. They are called this because they react with one another to form something else. The substances on the right side of the arrow are known as the products.
      1. Example chemical equation: 6CO2 + 6H2O ——> C6H12O6 + 6O2
      2. For younger students, the concept of small substances that are invisible to the naked eye is hard to grasp. Instead of using a chemical example, use something they are more familiar with. Cooking is chemistry!
        flour + sugar + eggs + butter + baking soda + chocolate chips —–> cookies
      3. Explain that the ratios of reactants are important. If you were making cookies and used 20 eggs and a few teaspoons of the other ingredients, your products would not be cookies.
    4. Making Flubber
      1. Mix 3/4 cup of water with 1 cup glue in a bowl. Stir this mixture until it is thoroughly mixed together. Set it aside. Optional: add a few drops of food coloring
      2. Mix 2 tablespoons of Borax with a 1/2 cup of water in a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly until all of the Borax is dissolved.
      3. Combine the two mixtures. Stir them together. Add several drops of food coloring until the mixture is the color you want it to be.
      4. Continue stirring until it is one mass of goo.

 

  • Note: This recipe can be reduced so each student can mix their own flubber
  • Cup #1:

 

          1. 1/3 cup elmers glue
          2. 1/4 cup water
          3. Drops of food coloring

 

  • Cup #2:

 

        1. 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoons water
        2. 2 teaspoons Borax
  1. Students should play with the flubber, testing how far it can stretch and bounce.
  2. Clean up and place flubber in plastic bags. Students can keep the flubber.

Extensions and Modifications:

  • The above procedure details exactly how the students should make flubber. The measurements are given to the students. To make this activity more challenging, it can be done by giving the students each material and having them work in pairs to try to create something that is the consistency of flubber (choosing how much of each material to mix). Each group should have a different mixture and they can learn the effects of using various proportions/ratios of each ingredient. After each group has experimented and they have discussed what happened when they mixed various proportions, you can make flubber as a whole class using the procedure outlined above.

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