This is a recording of a recent live teleclass I did with thousands of kids from all over the world. I’ve included it here so you can participate and learn, too! (Click here if you’re looking for the more recent version that also includes Chemical Engineering.)

When you think of slime, do you imagine slugs, snails, and puppy kisses? Or does the science fiction film The Blob come to mind? Any way you picture it, slime is definitely slippery, slithery, and just plain icky — and a perfect forum for learning real science. But which ingredients work in making a truly slimy concoction, and why do they work? Let’s take a closer look…


  • Sodium tetraborate (also called “Borax” – it’s a laundry whitener) – about 2 tablespoons
  • Clear glue or white glue (clear works better if you can find it) – about 1/2 cup
  • Yellow highlighter
  • Pliers or sharp razor (with adult help). (PREPARE: Use this to get the end off your highlighter before class starts so you can extract the ink-soaked felt inside. Leave the felt inside highlighter with the end loosely on (so it doesn’t dry out))
  • Resuable Instant Hand Warmer that contains sodium acetate (Brand Name: EZ Hand Warmer) – you’ll need two of these
  • Scissors
  • Glass half full of COLD water (PREPARE: put this in the fridge overnight)
  • Mixing bowl full of ice (PREPARE: leave in freezer)
  • Salt
  • Disposable aluminum pie place or foil-wrapped paper plate
  • Disposable cups for solutions (4-6)
  • Popsicle sticks for mixing (4-6)
  • Rubber gloves for your hands
  • Optional: If you want to see your experiments glow in the dark, you’ll need a fluorescent UV black light (about $10 from the pet store – look in cleaning supplies under “Urine-Off” for a fluorescent UV light). UV flashlights and UV LEDs will not work.
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15 Responses to “Special Science Teleclass: Chemistry”

  1. When the slime is dropped, the cross linked long chain molecules try to hold their position, which causes the “bounce”.

  2. ericksonnationmom says:

    I found that the slime was more flexible and stretchy when it was warm, then when it got cold. Also do you know why the slime bounces as much as it does because I have made other types of slime and they didn’t really bounce they just fell on the counter top and lied flat.

  3. You really need sodium acetate for this experiment. But thing is to buy the ones we recommend in the supply list above.

  4. We got grabber handwarmers, they were the only ones they had at the store for this experiment…doesn’t look like they have sodium acetate in them… any other materials we may have at home that we can substitute for this experiment? We are dying to make the slime…. Thanks!!!

  5. Protons and neutrons are made up of sub-atomic particles called quarks. Electrons are just electrons and aren’t made out of anything smaller. Because of this, electrons are considered an elementary particle.

  6. What is inside the protons,neutrons and electrons?

  7. Wrap it in a kitchen towel and place in a pot of water. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, and then remove gently with tongs. Let it cool, and then unwrap – you should see the solid now all a liquid.

  8. For the hot icicle experiment – I only have one hand warmer. Do I get the crystal out before letting it melt? Is there a way to safely boil it at that point or do I wait for it to melt at room temperature?

  9. okambon: I found the correct hand warmers on Amazon by typing in sodium acetate hand warmers. Hope that helps!

  10. Is there anything else that can be used besides the EZ hand warmers? I cant find them anywhere where we live. I have been everywhere. Can we use anything else?

  11. emilyannejon says:

    (Leave the felt inside highlighter with the end loosely on (so it doesn’t dry out))…. I knew I would need some for this teleclass so I’d cut some out the night before and put it on my desk… It dried out. Thanks though! <3

  12. Oh, no! We actually are changing it so that you have full access to all the units in the level you subscribe to. Originally we incremented the content because folks were upset that there was too much content, so we stepped it down and walked them through it… only now folks are upset because they don’t have access to everything, so we switched it back. It was well-intended, but just didn’t work for everyone!

    You should have access now, but if you still don’t, I’ll have Tonya follow up with you.

  13. Daisy Toro says:

    I have been an e science member for a while now. But I still don’t have access to a lot of the units and parts of the units. For example: I don’t have access to any of these teleclasses. Is it possible to get access to these?

  14. Daisy Toro says:

    Is it possible to have access to this teleclass?

  15. I’ll have someone contact you right away to get this straightened out!