Magnetic Slime

Magnetic Slime
Messiness: High
Age Range: 9y - 16y
Estimated Time: <30 mins

Activity Designer

Andy Whitmore

Polymers are really big molecules, made up of lots and lots of smaller molecules joined together. They can make materials bouncy like a rubber ball, stiff like a plastic toy, or stretchy like a piece of gum. One great way to play around with polymers -- and to do some hands-on experimentation with chemistry in general -- is to make your own slime.


In this experiment, we uplevel your standard green goo to a jet-black magnetic version that will magically move and dance without you even touching it!

Follow along below or in our video tutorial!

How We Did It

Magnetic Slime
Gather your materials.
Magnetic Slime
Add a tablespoon of iron oxide powder into your disposable cup or bowl.
Magnetic Slime
Add 2 tablespoons of liquid starch. Use a craft  stick to mix the ingredients until the liquid is uniform and smooth.
Magnetic Slime
Add 2 tablespoons of white glue and stir your mixture until you get an even consistency. You may need to scrape the mixture off your craft stick periodically to keep mixing.
Magnetic Slime

At this point, we put on our gloves as things start to get a little messy!


Scoop out the black slime and knead it with your hands. It should start to dry as you do so. Keep kneading until your slime is smooth and dry. If needed, you can gently dab it on a paper towel to help with the drying process.
Magnetic Slime

Your slime should now be safe to handle without getting your hands black!

Take your magnets and play see how it interacts with the slime.

Try stretching out a long tendril of slime.

Place the magnets near the slime and watch as the slime slowly creeps over to be closer to the magnet.

Magnetic Slime

For some extra experimentation, try varying your ratio of iron oxide to glue to liquid starch and observe the results. Depending on your ratio, the slime can either be very thick or thin and it will interact differently with the magnets.


What combination worked the best for you?

Comments

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My family tried this last night, with poor results. But, like Thomas Edison, we learned one way that this project doesn't work and will try again soon! I think part of the problem was that I didn't shake up the starch before I added it. And is there a particular brand of white glue that you'd recommend? I used Extra-Strength Elmer's Glue-All, and when it hit the starch the mixture turned into "curds and whey" instead of the gooey slime pictured in this article.

posted by: Laura on 1.25.2016

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