Monday, March 30, 2009

Pizza, Popcorn and Polymers

With the great laundry experiment behind us (at least the children's portion), I found myself with a good deal of left over borax. When I made up the laundry detergent, I also made up a bathroom cleaner, carpet cleaner and a dishwasher detergent. We've gone about as green as a salad, and since we followed our cleaning up with a vinegar spray, just to make everything sparkle, we now smell like a salad too.

I was definitely ready for a Monday movie night! Thankfully, I remembered that we hadn't cashed it our Pizza Hut "Read It" coupons yet this month. So, it was pizza and a movie night. Perhaps that's why, as a surfed the web for more uses for my left over borax, the polymer experiment (better known as make your own goo) caught my eye. What could be better than pizza and a movie followed by a themed science experiment.

Before dinner the older children watched a couple of quick videos about polymers online, one from Professor Gizmo and one on VideoJug. Then we had our pizza, popped some popcorn and watched The Absent Minded Professor. Afterward, we made our own "flubber" from the borax, some glue and a little water, with a drop off food coloring just for fun. It just so happened that my younger son had made a pretty good likeness of a polymer chain out of his Zoobs, which came in handy as I explained how the borax was acting as a cross-connector to the polymer formed by the glue and water (lucky for me I'd stumbled onto a website earlier that explained all that in simple detail).

Now the older children and I can follow up tomorrow by reading the chapter in our Chemistry text on polymers, while the little ones play with the slime. It's great to be a homeschooler!

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