Bioslime video


Paul: Hi, and welcome to Scienceworks, I’m Paul.

Skip: and I’m Skip.

Paul and Skip: And we’re the Maestros of Molecules.

Paul: From the University of Melbourne.

Skip: Did you know that it’s the International Year of Chemistry? And we’re here today to uncover some of the chemistry of the home.

Paul: Why don’t we go have a look at the House Secrets exhibition to see what we can find?

Paul: Hi and welcome to the House Secrets kitchen here at Scienceworks.

Paul: Hey Skip, what are you doing under the sink?

Skip: Today we’re in the kitchen doing chemistry experiment to make slime and I was just looking for some slimy things.

Paul: In the drainpipes?

Skip: That’s right; all sorts of organism make slime and it’s called bioslime.

Paul: Sort of like slimy snails? And the mucous in my nose?

Skip: That’s right, they make all sorts of slime. Today we’re going to make slime that’s a little different, it’s similar to making plastic.

Paul: Cool, the experiment we’re going to do today involves making two types of slime. One non-transparent, which means you can’t see through it and one transparent, which means you can see through it.

Skip: We have to be careful because some of the chemicals we’re going to use today are quite toxic; we have to use our safety equipment.

Paul: The two slimes are pretty easy to make, and they both use all the same ingredients except for two different types of glue. White PVA glue, which will help make the non-transparent slime, and clear PVA glue which will help make the transparent slime.

Skip: The first step is to take this glue and make a ‘glue solution’ by mixing it with water. And the key thing here, like in most chemical experiments is to get the amounts right. We’ve used about 100ml of glue, and therefore we need to add 100ml of water. To spice things up we then add a few drops of a different coloured food dye. And then stir well to make sure everything is mixed up nicely.

Paul: Woooah mate! That looks pretty cool.

Paul: The next step is to mix water with another chemical, that’s not really that common, it’s called borax. And it’s a key ingredient in this experiment because it helps bind and join everything together.

Paul: To make our borax solution we add one tablespoon of borax to one cup of water, and mix for about ten minutes.

Skip: Make sure you’re really careful with that stuff Paul, borax is a toxic chemical.

Paul: Now it’s show time! I’m going to slowly add our binding agent, the borax solution to the coloured glue solution.

Skip: And I’m going to continuously stir it, even if it gets a little tricky.

Skip: WOW mate! It’s all starting to clump together, this is pretty exciting.

Paul: And voilà! We have two hunks of gunk!

Paul: Alright so while Skip quickly gives them a rinse and a pat down, I’ll explain the science behind it. To understand the chemistry of this type of experiment let’s take a look at one of my favourite things to eat: SPAGHETTI!


Paul: Yeah that’s right, spaghetti. So if we look at the glue we’ve used really really closely we find that it’s made up of molecules. Molecules a bit like this broken up spaghetti. When we added the water we just added more molecules. Have you heard of H₂O? Yeah.. So just more molecules, we added them and these guys just swam around each other, making a nice mixture, a glue solution.

Skip: Now it’s show time!

Paul: Remember how we said borax was a binding solution? Yeah, so when we added it to our glue and water molecules they all bound together, they linked and joined. A bit like our molecular spaghetti dish, the molecules are linking and joining together to form long interweaving chains, which a bit similar to how plastics are made.

Skip: Wow, that’s really exciting. Every time I look at spaghetti now I’m going think of this super awesome slime we just made.

Paul: Wow, this is really gooey.

Paul: This is definitely not like the mucous in our nose, or the slime down the drainpipes.

Skip: That’s right, and if you want to make your own slime at home talk to your parents and carers and go on the Scienceworks website download the ‘Silly Slime Activity Sheet’ and have fun.

Paul: Man I’m hungry right now.

Skip: Well, that’s been another chemistry demonstration performed at Scienceworks by the...

Paul and Skip: ...Maestros of Molecules!

Paul: We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the House Secrets exhibition with us today.

Skip: We’d really like some feedback on our blog below.

Paul: Just remember that chemistry is everywhere, so keep an eye out for it

Skip: And we’re at Scienceworks where science really does work!!

Paul and Skip: See you later!!

About this Video

To celebrate the International Year of Chemistry, Paul and Skip, the “Maestros of Molecules” get elbow-deep in slime and spaghetti to explain how molecules interact in the production of plastics.
Length: 4:34