‘Slime Squad’

Peter White Public Library hosts youth science event

Christian Hausmann, 7, of Marquette makes slime Thursday as part of the “DIY Slime Squad.” The activity mixed science concepts and fun at the Peter White Public Library. (Journal photo by Christie Bleck)


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — Slime is having its moment.

The “DIY Slime Squad” met Thursday in the children’s section of the Peter White Public Library in Marquette to follow the “do it yourself” mantra of taking matters — in this case, slime — into their own hands.

The youngsters created ice cream slime and root beer slime using everyday products such as glue, baking soda, Borax — and even a diaper.

Leading the activity for children ages 8 and up was Mary Harma, Youth Services assistant.

Making slime had its tactile moments, but it also was a science lesson. For example, facts about slime were listed on a white board.

“Everyone’s so into slime right now,” Harma said. “In hopes that they stay interested in it, add a little bit of science to it.”

The youngsters had a chance to learn about molecules and polymers, which are long chains of molecules.

When they made slime, they were creating a chemical reaction; by mixing in Borax, they were changing tiny glue molecules, which gave the slime its unique feel.

When glue — made of polymers — was mixed with Borax, the Borax molecules reacted with the polymer chains, making them thicker and allowing them to stretch out.

Another unique quality of slime is that it can stretch without breaking.

Did you know slime isn’t a solid or liquid, but both?

“A fancy word to describe this is a non-Newtonian fluid,” Thursday’s science lesson read. “Want to test it? Hold your slime in your hand. It piles up like a solid, but when you put it away, it takes the shape of its container, like a liquid.”

The kids made two types of slime Thursday: ice cream slime and root beer slime.

The ice cream variety involved ingredients such as white glue, Sta-Flo liquid starch and shaving cream, as well as water-absorbing crystals from a cut-up diaper.

Root beer slime used things such as Borax, clear glue, brown food coloring and root beer extract.

Those slimes resembled their names, but that didn’t mean they were edible.

In fact, Harma cautioned against eating them.

“None of this you would want to eat,” Harma said. “They wouldn’t taste good.”

Creating the slime proved fascinating for the young participants who had fun playing with the non-Newtonian fluids they made.

Christian Hausmann, 7, of Marquette was finishing his ice cream slime when he said, “I don’t think my mom will allow this, but only in my kitchen.”

Local youngsters have another opportunity to get messy.

“Messy Science” is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the PWPL, with this event geared for kids in kindergarten through second grade. There is no admission charge.

For more information, visit uproc.lib.mi.us/pwplinfo/ or call 906-228-9510.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.