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20 minute lab logo | Yellow Scope blog

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner - a time for Irish music, dancing, festivals and a lot of green. How about celebrating in your own home with some decorations made using science?!

We can use household materials to make crystal shamrocks. Shamrocks are the leaf of a clover plant, and a symbol for the country of Ireland, where the real St. Patrick lived and is celebrated across the world today.

NOTE: Though doing the lab will only take about 20 minutes, once you're done you'll have to wait overnight to see the full results.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • green pipe cleanerShamrock lab materials | Yellow Scope blog
  • a large wide-mouthed glass jar
  • borax (powder found in the laundry aisle), about 1 cup
  • string
  • pencil (or pen, stick, straw)
  • boiling water

NOTE: It is not safe to breath in or eat borax, so be careful. Don't worry, we've included some tips and steps that help you to stay safe!

LET'S GET STARTED

shamrock pipe cleaner | Yellow Scope blog
  1. Shape your pipe cleaner into a shamrock! Make sure it will fit into the jar's opening and that there's about a 1/2 inch of space on the sides. (You'll need space because the shamrock is going to get bigger.)
  2. Tie the piece of string around the stem of your shamrock.
  3. Hang your shamrock in the empty jar, suspending it right in the middle. Tie the other end of the string to the middle of your pencil. Remove the shamrock from the jar. jar and shamrock | Yellow Scope blog
  4. Then add water to the jar cup by cup. Count how many cups it takes to fill the jar.
  5. Now pour the water from the jar into a pot and have your parent bring it to a boil on the stove.
  6. Remove the pot from the heat and turn on the fan above your stovetop if you have one. If not, open a window or two for ventilation. 
  7. Wait until the water is calm and no longer bubbling. (You don't want to add borax while the water is still bubbling.) 
  8. Now add 3 tablespoons of borax for each cup of water. (For example, our jar held 6 cups of water, so we used 18 tablespoons of (3x6=18). NOTE: If you want to use cups to measure, there are 16 tablespoons in one cup.
  9. Mix the borax with a wooden spoon until it's completely dissolved. Be careful not to breathe in the steam.borax pour and stir | Yellow Scope blog
  10. Pour the water-borax solution back into the jar.
  11. Gently lower your shamrock into the jar so it's suspended right in the middle. Make sure it does not touch the sides or bottom of the jar, or it might get stuck there!
  12. Put the jar in an out-of-the-way place with good ventilation.
  13. Come back the next day to see what happened!

shamrock crystal | Yellow Scope blog

CONCLUSION

What's going on?

You just made a shamrock crystal! A crystal is a special type of solid mineral in which the molecules fit together in an organized, repeating pattern. The process of crystallization is when molecules transition from chaos to uniformity!

There are many different types of crystals found in nature, but crystals are generally formed in three ways.

  1. Some crystals, such as diamonds and emeralds, are formed when liquid rock (magma) slowly cools and hardens.
  2. Other crystals, such as snowflakes and frost, are formed when water evaporates (dries up) and the crystal is left behind.
  3. Still other crystals form when a supersaturated liquid that has a dissolved mineral in it, cools. The crystals in this experiment were formed in this way.




Growing crystals from hot water:

By heating the water, you were able to dissolve more borax than you could at room temperature because hot water molecules are farther apart so they have more space to hold borax. This is called a supersaturated solution.

As the solution cooled, the water molecules moved closer together, so borax came out of solution (out of being mixed), and borax crystals started to form on the tiny bristles of the pipe cleaner.

The size and shape of the crystals depends on how fast the solution cools. When solutions cool fast, smaller crystals are formed because they have less time to organize. Slow-cooling solutions tend to form larger crystals.

Design Your Own Experiments

!

  • Try using food coloring in your water (maybe with a white pipe cleaner?)

  • What happens if you put the jar in the fridge instead of leaving it out?

SHARE WITH US!

borax team | Yellow Scope blog

Let us know what you did. Share your photos and results with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or send us an email to info@yellow-scope.com. We love getting your messages!

For more exciting experiments, check out our Yellow Scope Science Kits on the Shop tab of our website!



yellow scope science fair feature imageIt's science fair season! Want to help your child learn the scientific method with a fun project (and then show it off to others?) We've got a list of great resources.

Why participate in a science fair?

  • Kids are natural scientists – they want to know how things work!
  • Participating in the science fair at elementary school will help prepare kids for middle school science fairs, which are often mandatory.
  • It's a fun family activity!

1. Choose A Project

Ask your child “What interests you?” Here's a list of three branches of science and possible questions they might want to know the answer to.

Life Science/Biology

girls experiment | Yellow ScopePlants – What type of soil do plants grow best in?
Animals – What type of food do compost worms prefer?
Human Body/Health – How does smell affect the sense of taste?
Microorganisms – How can you reduce odor in sneakers?
Environment – How does acid rain affect plants?

Earth Science

Weather – How does weather affect mood?
Geology – What are the best conditions for making sand castles?
Space – How do fins on a rocket affect flight?

girls experimentingPhysical Science

Chemistry
– How does the amount of baking soda affect cookies?
Energy – What is the best shock absorber for protecting eggs?
Matter – Which paper towel absorbs the best?

Remember:
Experiments should be designed to be a fair test of the scientific question.

'Variables' are factors that we change during the experiment. Change only one variable at a time and keep everything else about your experiment the same.

2. Book Resources:

Janice VanCleave's A+ Science Fair Projects

Look for books at your school or local library. Some of our favorites:
  • Janice VanCleave's A+ Science Fair Projects - A simple guide to the science fair process. 35 complete starter projects on various topics including:
    * The angular distance between celestial bodies
    * The breathing rate of goldfish
    * Interactions in an ecosystem
    * Nutrient differences in soils
    * Heat transfer in the atmosphere
    * Magnetism from electricity

  • everything kids book | Yellow ScopeThe Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book - Experiments using household materials that answer questions like:
    *Is it possible to blow up a balloon without actually blowing into it?
    *What is inside coins?
    *Can a magnet ever be "turned off"?
    *Do toilets always flush in the same direction?
    *Can a swimming pool be cleaned with just the breath of one person?
  • kitchen science book  | Yellow ScopeKitchen Science Lab for Kids - 52 science activities for kids that encourage experimentation in biology, chemistry and physics in the family kitchen or backyard. Many example experiments are great for toddlers, or exciting enough for tweens.
    Also check out the Gardening Lab and Outdoor Science Lab books from the same series for more ideas!

3._Online Resources

  • Science Fair Central -  An updated site with easy to use tabs that help students choose a project based on their interests.
  • Science buddies website logo | Yellow ScopeScience Buddies - This site includes a Topic Selection Wizard that leads the student through a series of questions, including grade level, area of science and amount of time until the project is due to help them select just the right experiment!
  • babble dabble do logo | Yellow ScopeBabble Dabble Do - Over 20 fresh and creative science projects, including more tips and book resources. Divides projects into grade groups, including kindergarten - 1st, 2nd - 4th, and 5th grade and up!
  • camp yellow scope logoCamp Yellow Scope - Our summer series of eight fun-filled and colorful science experiments, easily translatable to a science fair experiment! Learn about surface tension; density, mass and volume; chemical reactions; pigments and 'unmixing colors'; capillary action; isolating DNA from strawberries; molecular interactions by painting on milk, and more!

 

 

Yellow Scope Chemistry kit

4._Science Kit Resources

Short on time? Or want the convenience of everything together in one place? Consider a science kit – but be careful to chose a high quality kit with experiments that test a specific question.

Yellow Scope science kits offer suggestions for experimental extensions that could be developed into a unique science fair project!

TYellow Scope Acids kithe Foundation Chemistry Kit explores key concepts like chemical reactions, molecular motion, and the effect of temperature.

The Acids, Bases and pH Kit explores the mysteries of household acids and bases, and the "Be A Maker" chapter shows girls how to make their own acid-base indicator and pH paper at home.

5. Follow the Scientific Method!

Follow the steps of the scientific method and you can’t go wrong! Here's a handy flowchart for kids to refer to when designing and presenting a project. (They can even cut out the titles for each step and “fill in the blanks”). Click on the image for a printable PDF:

Scientific method | Yellow Scope

 

Tips for Success

  • Choose a topic that is interesting/relevant to your child.
  • Follow the steps of the Scientific Method and you can’t go wrong!
  • Approach the project over several sessions so it is not overwhelming.
  • Personalize the presentation with artwork, graphics and perhaps a hands-on demo!
  • Don't do the work your child should be doing - you're just the guide!

SHARE WITH US!

Let us know what you did. Share your photos from home or the fair with us on Facebook, Twitter, or send us an email to info@yellow-scope.com. We love getting your messages!


2017 Gift Guide 12 Days of Girl Power | Yellow Scope Science Kits for Girls
We pulled together 12 of our favorite girl power gifts for the season. From science kits to books to posters to t-shirts, these gifts will empower the young girls on your list to know they can be anything they can dream of.
 
1. YELLOW SCOPE CHEMISTRY KITS
 yellow scope foundation kit
yellow scope acids bases ph
Award-winning Yellow Scope science kits are chock full of real science. The fun, colorful, hands-on chemistry experiments take girls seriously. No perfume or bubble gum here.
Ages 8-12. From $24.99. yellow-scope.com
 
2. GIRLS WHO CODE BOOK
girls who code book
 
Part how-to, part girl-empowerment, this new book from Girls Who Code founder, Reshma Saujani, is filled with great illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions. A perfect introduction to the wonderful world of coding.
Ages 10+. $17.99. girlswhocode.com
 
3. LOTTIE DOLLS
lottie doll 
We love these award-winning dolls, designed with bodies based on an average nine-year-old girl. With inspiring background stories, the dolls empower girls to be anything they can dream of – from a wildlife photographer, to a paleontologist, to an astronomer.
Ages 3+. From $19.95. lottie.com
4. WILD FEMINIST T-SHIRT
 
wild feminist t shirt 
 
For the little feminist in your life, check out the Wild Feminist t-shirt line from our friends (and Portland neighbors) at Wildfang. Also available in baby onesies and adult sizes. Because any age is the right age for feminism.
Kids S, M, L. $28.00 wildfang.com
 
5. SMORE MAGAZINE
smore magazine cover
 
 Ignite her brilliance all year long with a subscription to SMORE, a science magazine that encourages kids to know more and be more.
Ages 7+. From $30/year. smoremagazine.com
 
6. STRONG, SMART, BOLD NECKLACE
GIRLS INC + LITTLE LUX "STRONG SMART BOLD" NECKLACE
We love this necklace created by the father-daughter duo at Little Lux to benefit Girls Inc. Put one in your basket for the strong, smart and bold girl in your life - and give back at the same time.
Ages 3+. $24.95. gunnerandlux.com
 
7. FEMINIST HOUSEHOLD POSTER
 feminist household mike reynolds
We love these beautiful posters from Mike Reynolds – feminist, dad, blogger, and activist extraordinaire.
All ages. From $11. everdaygirldad.myshopify.com
 
8. WOMEN WHO DARED BLOCKS
women who dared blocks
 
 Mix up your wooden block collection with this inspiring 32-block set from Uncle Goose, featuring women who overcame obstacles and persevered.
Ages 2+. $64.00. unclegoose.com
 
9. FEMINIST ICON PRINTS
the film artist feminist icon prints
 
 
We all need these feminist icon prints. Pick one or several as a colorful tribute to outstanding women and their incredible accomplishments!
All ages. From $12.00. etsy.com/shop/TheFilmArtist
 
10. SHE PERSISTED BY CHELSEA CLINTON
she persisted by chelsea clinton 
Written by Chelsea Clinton, this beautifully illustrated book tells the stories of 13 American women who persisted and changed history.
Ages 4-8. $13.50 at your local bookstore
 
11. WONDER WOMAN POSTER
wonder woman watercolor 
 
Inspire your little superhero with these magical watercolor printable posters.
All ages. $3.00. etsy.com/shop/ArtQuality
(Wonder Woman print: here)
 
12. THINK LIKE A GIRL T-SHIRTS
yellow scope tshirt blue yellow scope tshirt black
Girls are bombarded with messages that maybe it’s not OK to think like a girl. Balderdash.  Let her know that her brain is amazing!
Girls’ and Women's sizes $19.95. yellow-scope.com

famous females logo | Yellow Scope blog

REARRANGING GENES!

VARIATION IN OUR DNA

barbara mcclintock | Yellow Scope blog

You probably know that half of your genes come from mom, and half of your genes come from dad. But this isn't the only way we get our differences.

But why be different? Well, living things benefit from being different because it helps their species survive over time.

Maybe a bird species needs to have a differently shaped beak to get at certain seeds, or maybe a scorpion species needs to be able to withstand higher temperatures to live in a desert.

Imagine you and your friends are making toy block towers on a table, then someone comes and shakes table you're working on, like an earthquake!

blocks | Yellow Scope blog Some of the towers would fall, but the more stable ones stay would standing.

Had you made them all the same, the quake could have wiped out all the towers. Like these toys, species need to be different so that some will survive natural disasters and other changes to their environment.

Today's famous female is geneticist Barbara McClintock. She helped us to understand just how genes make us so different before we even knew the structure of DNA.

BARBARA McCLINTOCK (1902 - 1992)

barbara mcclintock | Yellow Scope blogBarbara McClintock was born at the turn of the 20th century in Hartford, Connecticut. She was originally named 'Eleanor', but her no-nonsense, independent nature convinced her parents that it was too feminine a name, and renamed her Barbara.

 

 

 

Her father was a doctor and her mother raised the kids and enjoyed art and poetry. Barbara and her mother had some uneasy relations however, which would show itself as Barbara grew. 

cornell balch hall | Yellow Scope blogIn high school, her teachers praised her intelligence and saw her becoming a college professor - an idea that horrified her mother who felt that professors were an odd bunch that would make her daughter unattractive to potential suitors.

Her mom forbid Barbara from going to college, but at the last minute her dad came to the rescue. Barbara enrolled and graduated from Cornell University in New York.

She took the only course in genetics available to undergrads, and afterwards got a call from the professor inviting her to his graduate level class. She reflected, "Obviously, this telephone call cast the die for my future. I remained with genetics thereafter."

A BETTER WAY TO 'SEE' GENES

Now, genes are very, very small - you have to have a microscope to see them. And even then, you have to dye them with a stain so that you can see their structures.

meiosis | Yellow Scope blogWell, McClintock developed a staining technique that was better than any before.

With it, she proved that genes are physically located on little threads called chromosomes

She also proved a previously suggested idea that sex cells (like sperm and eggs) actually swap genetic material when making new cells. It's called chromosome crossover.

This is when the chromosomes actually swap bits of themselves with each other, so that there's a whole new combination of genes on each one! Sort of like if teams swapped a few players before a new game - the game would have the same people overall, but each team would have a slightly different makeup.

COLOR IN CORN

indian corn | Yellow Scope blog
But this wasn't McClintock's big discovery. Before we tell you what that was, we should introduce an interesting plant - Indian corn!

Now, the kind of corn you're used to eating in the summer has some pretty uniform colors. Usually yellow or white. In Indian corn, kernels are different colors!

McClintock was studying one species whose kernels were sometimes white, sometimes purple, or sometimes mottled with purple streaks or spots. She wondered how this happened. 

corn kernels | Yellow Scope blogNow, corn is a great organism to use in breeding experiments because each kernel is an individual embryo produced from an individual fertilization.

That's great for scientists because they get a lot of genetic results from just one ear of corn. Instead of getting just one set of genes from one ear, you actually get about 800!

JUMPING GENES

Now, keep in mind that in the late 1940s, when McClintock was studying purple corn kernels at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, it was thought that genes didn't change much. They just stayed on their chromosomes and didn't move, right?
 

microscope and corn | Yellow Scope blogMcClintock though, using her staining techniques, was able to see that the chromosomes of a purple kernel were similar to the spotted kernel, with just a little difference. It looked as though someone had taken a bit of one chromosome and stuck it somewhere else.

Turns out, that's exactly what is happening. McClintock discovered that some genes are actually moving around, as if scissors had come to a strand of DNA, cut some out, and then glued it back in the middle of a different set of DNA.

When this happens in corn, this extra bit can land in the middle of the genes for color, which ends up affecting what color the kernel will be.

We call these moving elements transposons, or transposing elements, or  'jumping genes'.

Turns out this isn't just the case in corn. It happens in animals too, which of course, includes us.  This was revolutionary! McClintock said,

"You can see why I have not dared publish an account of this story. There is so much that is completely new and the implications are so suggestive of an altered concept of gene mutation that I have not wanted to make any statements until the evidence was conclusive."

OTHER SCIENTISTS DON'T UNDERSTAND

barbara mcclintock | Yellow Scope blogMcClintock knew this was a big discovery - her most important yet. However, when she first presented it to other scientists in 1951, they didn't understand, and some even got a little hostile.

Disappointed, after a few years she stopped publishing papers on the subject altogether. She kept working though, she loved her job. She said, "I never thought of stopping."

It would take 20 more years before transposition was seen by some biologists in bacteria and viruses, and McClintock's work would be back in the limelight. Today we know that transposable elements make up over half of the human genome, and about 90% of the maize (corn) genome!

Acknowledged at last, Barbara McClintock won a Nobel Prize in 1983 for Physiology or Medicine. It just goes to show, if you know something and you have the evidence to back you up, don't give up! Everyone might just be too mind blown to see your genius and hard work just yet!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Outreach Activity, Naukuchiatal, India | Yellow Scope blog

Acid or Base? (Aml or Kshar?):
An Outreach Activity in Naukuchiatal, India

by Yellow Scope Science Education Consultant, Meghna Pant

Working with Yellow Scope and volunteering as a science educator at Oregon National Primate Research Center has nurtured my passion for promoting science education. I have also come to realize that organizing hands-on activities to stimulate learning does not always require fancy lab equipment.

Living so far away from India, the home I grew up in, I also aspire to give back when I can. Thus, armed with scientific knowledge and few basic supplies, I decided to initiate some sort of outreach activity during my vacation in India this year.

When Kelly and Marcie heard about my plans, they generously donated a Yellow Scope Acids, Bases and pH kit along with extra supplies to support my cause. What unfurled was an enriching, as well as a humbling experience, for me. Read on to learn more about my outreach story.

Naukuchiatal, India | Yellow Scope blog

 

Science Where Science is Needed

Nestled in the mountains of the Kumaun region of Uttarakhand, India is a small village called Naukuchiatal. Its namesake lake is a prominent tourist attraction. Clean mountain air, lush green surroundings and pleasant summers make this a coveted place to escape to in an otherwise hot and humid Indian summer.


I am thankful for the day my parents decided to settle down in this village after retirement! Understandably, the factors that contribute to the beauty of this place – its isolation - also limit the educational and employment opportunities.

If families have the money, there are plenty of excellent residential and day schools scattered throughout the region. However, most families cannot afford these private schools. They rely on the affordable government schools, which are doing their best to educate the students, but would do even better with extra funding or other resources.

The educator in me decided to explore running a pilot science program at one of these government schools – Rajkiya Inter College, Naukuchiatal, for grades six to twelve.

Naukuchiatal | Yellow Scope blog

 

Support and Language Barriers

I knew I needed the support of the teachers if I wanted my small outreach activity and future projects to materialize. My father, a retired professor of electrical engineering, arranged for me to meet with the school principal and teachers.

I floated my idea of incorporating hands-on science activities in the classroom and proposed a set of acid-base chemistry experiments. They were very interested and we decided that the middle school students would benefit the most from this activity. The date and time were fixed and I came away from the meeting feeling encouraged and happy!

The preparation and execution of this outreach activity was more challenging than I initially thought – even with my PhD experience and writing curriculum for Yellow Scope. The language of instruction in this school was Hindi, which is  the official language of India. Even though I grew up in North India and speak Hindi at home, I have never studied science in Hindi.

In school, I studied science in English, and while this helped me easily transition to grad school in USA, it’s a little embarrassing when I view it from a cultural perspective. I had to look up what Acids and Bases are called in Hindi. Acid = “Aml (um-la)” and Base = “Kshar. These two words have now possibly become two of my favorite words in Hindi.

Questions and Excitement

Around 50 unsuspecting children waited for me in the practical lab. They had no idea why they had been called away from their normal classes, but I am sure they were happy about it. There were almost equal numbers of boys and girls in the class. While the teachers explained to the students why I was there, I prepared the samples to test for aml and kshar.

Science Outreach Activity, India |Yellow Scope blog

Before starting the experiment, I did a quick background knowledge check. “Do you know what Aml is?” Few answered, “It taste sour”! “What about kshar?” “It tastes bitter!” “But, how can you tell them apart without tasting?” No answer. “Well, I will show you how you can tell them apart using color changes!”

Science Outreach Activity, India | Yellow Scope blogInterest, amusement and curiosity - I saw it all on their faces. These students had never before done any hands-on science experiments!

I demonstrated how lemon juice turns pinkish-red when you add red cabbage powder solution to it. They were amazed to see that the white laundry detergent turned greenish-blue on reaction with red cabbage solution.

However, I think the thing that piqued their curiosity the most was the red cabbage itself! They took my word for it that cabbages in the United States can be red in color; in India they are only green!

I had foreseen this problem (not being able to buy red cabbages in India for future experiments) and prepared another pH indicator from a kind of black bean, locally known as “bhatt”. This indicator turned pinkish red when mixed with acids and brownish-green when mixed with bases.

The Kids' First Science Experiment

We divided the students in groups of five and set them up with a 6-well plate and a dropper pipette. The wells of the plate contained vinegar, lemon juice, laundry detergent and window cleaner. I went around with the pH indicators (red cabbage juice and bhatt juice) and asked every student to add indicator to one of the wells using the dropper pipette. Then I asked them to tell me what they had aml or kshar -  acid or base?

Black Bean pH indicator | Yellow Scope blog

By the end of the activity, the whole room was filled with the words aml and kshar. Even when the students cleaned their plates and left, the words stayed with me. I hope the students will think of them too whenever they see laundry detergent or eat bhatt.

Overall, this outreach activity was a great learning experience for everyone - students, teachers and me. I now have a better understanding of the scientific background of these students and the resources available to them. I have also been meeting with higher education professionals to discuss steps that can be taken to further promote science education in this region. I am excited about the future!

I am grateful that I was able to share my first outreach experience in India with you all. Who knows if this was the first of many?!

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to the principal and teachers of Rajkiya Inter College, Naukuchiatal, for allowing me to conduct this activity with their students. I would also like to thank my parents who helped me put my outreach plans into action. And a big shout out to Kelly and Marcie at Yellow Scope for donating supplies that made this activity possible!

 Meghna Pant, PhD
Yellow Scope Science Education Consultant


News  

glitter slime featured image | Yellow Scope slime recipe

Let's Make Slime!

Slime never ceases to fascinate kids, and it seems it’s all the rage again! Which is great news, because you can make slime right at home, and maybe even learn a little science while you’re at it!

slime had | Yellow Scope slime recipeTurns out you can make slime with any number of household items. A big component of most recipes is glue. Good old Elmer’s Washable works just fine.

All of these recipes are for one 'serving' of slime (not edible!) for one child. We find that 1/4 cup of glue makes a perfectly generous handful of slime (many websites call for a whole cup, but then your glue stock disappears!)

Tips:

Check all ingredients for anything that might be an allergen for your kids.
Supervise to make sure your kids don't eat the slime (especially any containing borax).
Wash your hands before and after making slime! Clean hands makes clean slime, and washing up after makes a clean you!

Click on the icons to skip to the recipe of your choice:

Crystal Clear Slime

Glitter Slime

Stretchy Slime

Poofy Slime

Floam (Crunchy) Slime

Ooblek (Cornstarch) Slime

1. Crystal Clear Slime

clear slime product | Yellow Scope slime recipes

Want the purest, clearest, snottiest slime there is? Try this recipe out for a glass-like finish to your new slime!

What You'll Need:

clear slime ingredients | Yellow Scope slime recipes

  • Clear Glue
  • Water
  • Borax Powder (in the laundry aisle)
  • Measuring Cup (1/4 cup)
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Teaspoon

A Note On Borax: Borax is a boron mineral and salt that comes right from the ground. It's often used as a laundry detergent enhancer or cleaner, but it is toxic if ingested in large amounts.

Just handling it while playing with slime from this recipe won't cause any harm, but you might consider supervision to prevent ingestion. This is the only recipe that uses it.

If you're still nervous, liquid starch works just as well - see Glitter Slime (makes for slightly stretchier slime too). Read about borax in slime from Parents.com for more information.

Let's Get Started!

clear slime bowl | Yellow Scope slime recipe

 

1. Pour 1/4 cup of clear glue into a bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir. Set the bowl aside for a bit.
3. To the measuring cup, add 1/4 cup of hot tap water.
4. Add 1/4 teaspoon of borax powder to the hot water in the measuring cup. Stir until you can't see any little particles at the bottom.
5. Add the borax and water solution to your bowl of glue and water. Slimetastic!
6. Knead your slime to get a great texture.

Note: if some of the liquid won't stir in, that's okay, just pull out your slime and dispose of the extra liquid.

clear slime product | Yellow Scope slime recipe

What's going on?

Try experimenting with the slime a bit - move it around, poke it gently, poke it quickly... How does it behave? More like a liquid or more like a solid? If you think the slime seems like both a solid and a liquid, you're right! Some types of slime (and other mixtures like ooblek - see Recipe #6 below) can have qualities of both a solid and a liquid. Substances that can behave like a solid and a liquid at the same time are called non-Newtonian fluids. (Big word, right?!)

How does it work?

Glue is made of long molecules called polymers. Polymers are long chains of repeating units. These polymers can slide over each other, so glue flows like a thick liquid. When borax is added to glue, a chemical reaction occurs that causes cross-links, or bridges, to form between the glue molecules.

This cross-linking of glue molecules is what creates slime. You may have noticed that if you leave the slime alone, it acts like a liquid and will mold to the shape of its container. This happens because the long slime molecules coil up and slide over each other.

But when you apply pressure, this causes the molecular coils to unwind and get tangled up. This makes it harder for the slime to flow, so it feels more like a solid. Pretty cool, right? Now you know what a non-Newtonian fluids is! To learn more about these interesting materials check out this cool video from Crash Course Kids!

2. Glitter Slime

Let's get our glitter on! This is a very popular recipe.

glitter slime yellow scope slime recipe

What You'll Need:

glitter slime ingredients | Yellow Scope slime recipes

  • Clear Glue
  • Liquid Starch (Purex Sta-Flo)
  • Glitter (or confetti!)
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Measuring Cup (1/4 cup)
  • Spoon

Let's Get Started!

1. Add 1/4 cup of glue to your bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix.
3. Add glitter (don't be shy, add a lot!) and stir.
4. Add 1/4 cup of liquid starch and watch the reaction before your eyes!
5. Stir with the spoon until that becomes difficult, then use your hands.

glitter slime product | Yellow Scope slime recipe

Note: You can also add food coloring along with the glitter if you want some more color! Try other materials, like confetti, stars, or combinations!

3. Stretchy Slime

In it for the stretch? This is a very satisfying slime that takes a little more patience, but is well worth the wait.

What You'll Need:

  • Glue
  • Eye Drops (we used Visine, but any brand should work)
  • Baking Soda
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Glass Measuring Cup
  • Spoon

Let's Get Started!

stretchy slime bowl | Yellow Scope slime recipe

1. Add 1/2 cup of glue to the measuring cup.
2. Add food coloring if you want to add color. Stir.
3. Add 2 teaspoons baking soda and stir
4. Add the eye drops 10 drops at a time, stirring after every set of 10, for a total of 50 drops. 
5. Wet your fingers a bit with the eye drops and pick up your slime. It should still be a little sticky.
6. Knead your slime by stretching and pulling.

stretchy slime product | Yellow Scope slime recipe

4. Poofy Slime

 

This entertaining slime is made of shaving cream - and who hasn't wanted to play with shaving cream? The very act of spraying it into the bowl is a thrill for most kids.

What You'll Need:

 poofy slime ingredients | Yellow Scope slime recipes

  • Glue
  • Foaming Shaving Cream (Barbasol works fine)
  • Baking Soda
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Saline Solution (contains both sodium borate and boric acid}
  • Measuring Cup (1/4 cup)
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Tablespoon

Let's Get Started!

poofy slime bowl | Yellow Scope slime recipes

1. Add about 2 cups of shaving cream into your bowl.
2. Add food coloring if you want! (We used blue and yellow to make green)
3. Add 1/4 cup of glue. Stir well.
4. Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
5. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of the saline solution. Mix like you're whipping cream (vigorously!)
6. Remove and knead with your hands.

At first the slime will stick to your hands quite a bit, but just keep kneading (for about one minute). Eventually  the poofy slime will come together and form a ball (and come off your hands)!

poofy slime product | Yellow Scope slime recipes

5. Floam (Crunchy) Slime

Call them dragon eggs, frog eggs, or just spongy goodness, this is an easy experiment - it's basically the same recipe as glitter slime except with polystyrene beads. True confession: we didn't make this one ourselves, but our friends at Little Bins for Little Hands did - take a look at the fun they had!

What You'll Need:

floam slime ingredients | Yellow Scope slime recipes

  • Glue
  • Water
  • Liquid Starch
  • Polystyrene foam beads
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Measuring Cup (1/4 cup)
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Let's Get Started!

 

1. Start by adding 1/4 cup of glue to your bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix.
3. Add food coloring (if you want!) and stir.
4. Add the styrofoam beads - anywhere from 1/2 to a full cup - and stir.
5. Add 1/4 cup of liquid starch and stir.
6. Knead and stretch, it should be ready (not sticky) in about a minute!

floam slime product | Yellow Scope slime recipes

6. Ooblek (Cornstarch) Slime

ooblek | Yellow Scope Slime RecipesHave you heard of ooblek? It’s that crazy material that you can make with just cornstarch and water. We mentioned ooblek in Recipe #1 above - it's another example of a non-Newtonian fluid. To learn more about these interesting materials check out this cool video from Crash Course Kids!

If your child has never experienced ooblek, start by first making and experimenting with that:

Ooblek: Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 5 tablespoons water and blow their mind.

You could call ooblek a type of slime, but it doesn't quite make the cut; you can't really hold it in your hand without it dripping all over.

As fun as it is, you might have to go the extra mile and follow the glue recipe below to make it more traditionally slime-like. Let’s try it:

What You’ll Need:

ooblek ingredients | Yellow Scope Slime Recipes

  • Glue
  • Cornstarch
  • Food Coloring (optional)
  • Glass Measuring Cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Spoon
  • Surface Covering (like a plate, newspaper, etc, as this tends to get messy!)

Let’s Get Started!

As cornstarch tends to get everywhere, and this recipe tends to be finicky, we've outlined a fairly small sample size. Increase as desired!
  1. Measure out 1 tablespoon of glue and pour it into the container.
  2. Want to make it colorful? Add food coloring now!
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch slowly, mixing as you add it. Watch it thicken!
  4. If you can pick up your slime and it’s not sticky or gooey, go to step 5. If not, add a little more corn starch.
  5. Pick up your blob of slime and knead it for a few minutes. You're done - have fun playing!
Note: If the slime feels too dry, add just a tiny bit of glue. The consistency should be a bit like Play-Doh.

ooblek product | Yellow Scope Slime Recipes

SHARE WITH US!

Let us know what you did. Share your photos and results with us on Facebook, Twitter, or send us an email to info@yellow-scope.com. We love getting your messages!

For more exciting experiments, check out our Science Kits on the Shop tab of our website!

 


Soap Bubbles | Camp Yellow Scope

 

Howdy Campers!

Welcome back to Week 8 of Camp Yellow Scope! It's our last week - it went fast, didn't it?  We hope you had fun experimenting and learned some interesting science facts! Maybe you even designed your own experiments? 

Click here to download printable instructions. You can also print out a lab worksheet to record your observations, jot down ideas, and design your own experiments! If you collect your worksheets together from all eight weeks, by the end of the summer you’ll have your very own Camp Yellow Scope notebook! You can even add some extra sheets for new experiments you design yourself. 

Experiment 1: Build a Better Bubble

When we think of summer, we think of blowing bubbles! They’re so easy to make and fun to play with, who would guess that there’s a really important science concept at work? This week’s experiment explores the concept of surface tension (remember that from Week 2?) And at the same time, you will learn some tricks to make your bubbles last longer!

All you need is some glycerin, corn syrup and dish soap, and we will teach you some tricks to make your bubbles last longer!

Let’s get started!

Clear some space on your kitchen counter or outside on your picnic table and get ready to science!

Hypothesis

Which ingredient do you think will help you make stronger, long-lasting bubbles: glycerin or corn syrup? Write your hypotheses on your worksheet.

Instructions

Supplies Camp Yellow Scope
  1. Place the 3 bowls on top of the 3 pieces of paper on flat surface, like the kitchen counter or picnic table.
  2. Label the papers:
    1. Dish Soap
    2. Dish Soap + Glycerin
    3. Dish Soap + Corn Syrup
  3. Add 1/2 cup of tap water to each bowl.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of dish soap to each bowl. Mix gently with spoon.
  5. To “glycerin” bowl, add 1 tablespoon of glycerin. Gently mix.
  6. To “corn syrup” bowl, add 1 tablespoon of corn syrup. Gently mix.
  7. Make a loop in each of the 3 pipe cleaners to make bubble wands. Try to make all 3 loops the same size.
  8. Start making bubbles by dipping the loops into the liquid and gently blowing.
  9. Start the timer once the bubble is formed. (If you have a Foundation Chemistry Kit, you can use the purple timer!)
  10. Record how long each bubble lasts.
  11. Repeat the experiment 3 times with each bubble solution. (It may take some practice to make really good bubbles consistently!)
  12. Calculate the average time a bubble lasts for each solution. Remember how we calculated averages when we counted drops on a penny in Week 2 of Camp Yellow Scope?
  13. NOTE: To control the strength of the air passing through the bubble, you can also try holding the loop in front of a fan, set on its lowest speed.

 

 

                Time

 

Material

Run 1

Run 2

Run 3

Average

Dish Soap

 

 

 

 

Dish Soap + Glycerin

 

 

 

 

Dish Soap + Corn Syrup

 

 

 

 

 

What did you see? How long did your bubbles last? Did glycerin or corn syrup help them to last longer?

What's Happening?

Bubble Camp Yellow Scope

On its own, water is not very good at making bubbles because the surface tension is too strong. (You learned all about surface tension in Week 2). When soap is added to water, the soap molecules push their way between the water molecules and lower the surface tension. When air is blown into the mixture, a round bubble forms. A bubble is just a “skin” made of soap and water surrounding a pocket of air.

Substances like glycerin and corn syrup help the bubbles to last longer by making them more stable. They also help prevent the evaporation of water.

 

Extensions soap bubbles | Camp Yellow Scope

Why does it matter?

Did you know that bubbles are not just for playing with!? Can you think of some real-life applications of bubbles?

  • Scientists are designing tiny bubbles that can carry and deliver drugs to specific regions of our body.
  • Pistol shrimp release bubbles to kill their prey!
  • Did you know that when bubbles burst they release a lot of energy? Scientists hope that we will be able to capture and use this energy in future.

You Own It! Test yourself: True or False?

  1. Dish soap increases the surface tension of water.
  2. You can make better bubbles with glycerin.
  3. Corn syrup and glycerin make the bubble unstable, causing it to burst.

Answer Key:

1. False. Dish soap decreases the surface tension of water.
2. True.
3. False. Corn syrup and glycerin make the bubble more stable.

Foam Camp Yellow Scope

Congratulations, Camper! You did it. Eight weeks of hands-on experiments at Camp Yellow Scope. Give yourself a pat on the back! We hope you had fun and learned some cool science facts along the way. 

For completing all eight weeks of camp, you earned a certificate! Print it out and hang it on your wall with pride.

If you didn't get a chance to try out all the experiments, don't worry - the experiments are staying put on the Yellow Scope blog page, so you can come back to check them out anytime!

Happy summer and happy experimenting!
Team Yellow Scope


Density Camp Yellow Scope

Howdy Campers!

Welcome to Week 7 of Camp Yellow Scope. Time sure goes by fast when you're having fun, right?! Click here to download printable instructions. You can also print out a lab worksheet to record your observations, jot down ideas, and design your own experiments! If you collect your worksheets together from all eight weeks, by the end of the summer you’ll have your very own Camp Yellow Scope notebook! You can even add some extra sheets for new experiments you design yourself.

Experiment 1: Liquid Rainbow

Density | Camp Yellow Scope

You’ve probably used crayons or paint to draw rainbows on paper. How would you like to make a liquid rainbow? In this week’s experiments, we’ll try to stack different colored liquids on top of each other.

The trick to stacking liquids depends on a property called density. Density refers to how much stuff can be packed in a given space. Scientists call the “stuff”, mass and the “space”, volume. To change the density of a liquid you can add more stuff (or mass) to a given volume. In our experiments this week, we are going to make solutions of sugar water that have different densities. Adding more sugar to given volume of water will increase the density of the water.

Let’s get started

Are you ready to make a liquid rainbow? All you need is sugar, water, and some food coloring. Clear a space and get ready to have fun while doing science!

Hypothesis

What do you think will happen when you add plain water on top of sugar water? Will the two liquids mix? Write down your hypotheses in your lab worksheet.

Instructions

Supplies Camp Yellow Scope
  1. Put on your safety goggles.
  2. Add 1 cup of tap water (not too cold) to each of the 2 cups/glasses.
  3. Color each cup of water a different color with a few drops of food coloring. (Make one yellow and one blue, for example.)
  4. Label one of the cups “Water” and set aside.
  5. To the second cup, add 8 teaspoons of sugar. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Label this cup “Sugar Water”.
  6. Now place the clear narrow glass on a flat surface.
  7. Carefully pour some of the “Sugar Water” into the glass.
  8. Let the sugar water settle.
  9. Now you are going to try to carefully try stack the plain colored water from the “Water” cup on top of the sugar water. To do this, use the medicine dropper to slowly and carefully transfer some of the “Water” to the glass on top of the “Sugar Water”. Keep adding the “Water” until you can see a nice band of color on top of the “Sugar Water”.
  10. Draw what you see on your lab worksheet.

Congratulations, Campers, you made the beginning of a liquid rainbow!

What’s Happening?

Why did the plain water stack on top of the sugar water instead of mixing in? To understand this, let’s talk more about density.

 Consider what was in each cup:

  • The first cup (“Water”) just had 1 cup of water.
  • The second cup (“Sugar Water”) had 1 cup of water plus 8 teaspoons of sugar.

Which liquid has a higher density? Right – the sugar water in the second cup is more dense. The volume was the same in both cases (1 cup) but the sugar increased the mass, and therefore the density, in the second cup.

Liquids that are more dense are heavier and will sink lower. Liquids that are less dense are lighter and will stay on top. In these experiments, the more dense sugar water was on the bottom and the less dense plain water was on the top. 

Density extension Camp Yellow Scope

 

Extensions Density Camp Yellow Scope

Why does it matter?

Can you think of everyday examples where density plays an important role?

  • If we know the density of an object, we can predict if it will sink or float in water. Engineers design ships so that they are less dense than water and therefore can float!
  • Oil is less dense than water and so floats on it. This makes cleaning up an oil spill in ocean a bit easier.
  • Helium balloons float up in the air because helium gases is less dense than air.

You own it! 

True or False:

  1. Oil is heavier than water.
  2. If an object is denser than water, it will sink.
  3. Density = Mass + Volume.

Answer key:

     1. False.  Oil is lighter than water and that’s why it floats on top.
     2. True.
     3. False. Density = Mass / Volume.

   

Density fun fact Camp Yellow Scope

We hope you had fun making liquid rainbows using science! Next week we will try to make better bubbles. Sounds exciting?! Check back next Tuesday for more summer science fun. 

We'd love to see how your experiments turned out! Share your photos or videos:

  • Facebook: Yellow Scope Science Kits for Girls
  • Twitter: @YellowScopeGirl, #CampYellowScope
  • email: info@yellow-scope.com

 

Fizzy Lemonade | Camp Yellow Scope

Howdy Campers!

Welcome back to week 6 of Camp Yellow Scope: Fizz & Fun. We hope you have been having fun while doing some serious science! Who is ready for today's experiment?

Click here to download printable instructions. You can also print out a lab worksheet to record your observations, jot down ideas, and design your own experiments! If you collect your worksheets together from all eight weeks, by the end of the summer you’ll have your very own Camp Yellow Scope notebook! You can even add some extra sheets for new experiments you design yourself.

Experiment 1: Add Some Fizz!

Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than a cold glass of lemonade. Today we will make use of chemical reactions to make your lemonade taste better!

A chemical reaction happens when two substances bump into each other, rearrange some of their parts, and make a brand-new substance. In this experiment, you will mix lemon juice and baking soda together to produce a chemical reaction. 

Let's get started!

Clear out a space, wear clothes that can get messy and get ready to have fun with lemons!

Hypothesis

What do you think will happen when we mix baking soda and lemon juice? Will there be bubbles or will there be a change in color? Write your hypothesis in the work sheet.

WARNING: While it is safe to ingest the small amount of baking soda used in the experiment, large amounts should not be consumed, plus it doesn't taste that good!

Supplies Camp Yellow Scope

Instructions

  1. Ask an adult to slice the lemon into quarters.
  2. Squeeze as much juice as you can from the lemon pieces into the drinking glass.
  3. Add some water to the glass – about the same amount as lemon juice.
  4. Now add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and observe what happens!
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar (or a bit more) to sweeten the drink and stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  6. Add some ice and a straw if you’d like.
  7. Now taste your drink! What do you think of your homemade fizzy lemonade?

What's happening?

chemical reactions | Camp Yellow Scope

A chemical reaction happened between the citric acid in the lemon juice and the baking soda. When you added the baking soda to the lemon juice, the two substances bumped into each other, exchanged some of their parts, and formed a new substance – a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2). The fizz you saw was made up of lots of pockets of carbon dioxide gas bubbles floating up through the liquid.

This reaction is similar to the reaction that happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda to make a model of a volcano. That reaction also produces carbon dioxide gas bubbles.

Extensions Fizzy lemonade | Camp Yellow Scope

Why does it matter?

Can you think why chemical reactions are important?

  • Chemical reactions in the body (called biochemical reactions) digest our food, provide us with energy, make our heart beat, make our neurons fire and basically keep us alive!
  • Plants make their own food via a chemical reaction called photosynthesis.
  • Burning of wood to make a campfire involves a chemical reaction. S'mores, anyone?

You Own it! 

True or False

  1. Mixing lemon juice and baking soda produces carbon dioxide gas in a chemical reaction.  
  2. The fizz you saw was made up of lots of pockets of helium bubbles floating up through the liquid.
  3. Plants make their own food using a chemical reaction called photosynthesis.

Answer Key: 

1. True.  
2. False.The fizz you saw was made up of lots of pockets of carbon dioxide bubbles floating up through the liquid.
3. True.

Baking Soda| Camp Yellow Scope

We hope you had fun making a fizzy lemonade using science! Next week we will make a liquid rainbow using some sugar, water and food coloring. Sounds exciting?! Check back next Tuesday for more summer science fun. 

We'd love to see how your experiments turned out! Share your photos or videos:

  • Facebook: Yellow Scope Science Kits for Girls
  • Twitter: @YellowScopeGirl, #CampYellowScope
  • email: info@yellow-scope.com

For more exciting experiments on chemical reactions, check out our Foundation Chemistry Kit.


Paper Chromatography | Camp Yellow Scope

Howdy Campers!

Welcome to week 5 of Camp Yellow Scope: Pigments & Papers! Who's ready to have some fun (and do science!)? 

Click here if you’d like to download printable instructions. You can also print out a lab worksheet to record your observations, jot down ideas, and design your own experiments! If you collect your worksheets together from all eight weeks, by the end of the summer you will have your very own Camp Yellow Scope notebook! 

Experiment 1: Go Green!

Do you know what the three primary colors are? That's right - red, yellow, and blue. All other colors can be made by mixing these three colors together in different combinations.

What do you get when you mix blue and yellow together? …………

Did you say green? That's correct. But have you ever wondered if you can "un-mix" green to get blue and yellow again?! In this week's experiments, we are going to try to do just that. Get ready to amaze your friends and family with some pretty cool science. 

Mixture versus chemical reaction | Camp Yellow Scope                 

Let’s get started!

Clear a space on the kitchen counter, your desk, or the picnic table in the backyard. Put on some clothes that can get messy, and get ready to un-mix dyes!   

Hypothesis

  1. Can you un-mix the dyes in green food coloring?   YES   /   NO
  2. If you said YES, what colors do you think it will separate into? Circle one or more: red   yellow   purple   blue   orange

    Instructions 

    Supplies Paper Chromatography Camp Yellow Scope



    1. Put on your safety goggles.
    2. Using your scissors, cut the coffee filter or paper towel into rectangular strips - about ½ inch wide and 4 inches long.
    3. Squeeze one or two drops of food coloring onto a small piece of aluminum foil.
    4. About 1” from the bottom, using a toothpick, draw a line across the strip with the green food coloring.
    5. Make a solution of salt water: measure 1 tsp of table salt and place in one of the cups. Add ¼ cup of warm tap water and stir to dissolve. You will use this salt water to separate the green dye.
    6. Add a small amount of this salt water to the second cup, just about ½” deep.
    7. Holding the top of the strip, carefully dip the very bottom of the strip into the water in the cup. NOTE: Don’t let the water touch the marker line.
    8. Continue to hold the strip in the water for about one minute to allow the water to move up the strip, through the green line and beyond.
    9. Remove the strip from the water and record your observations below or on your lab worksheet. 

    Paper Chromatography | Camp Yellow Scope

    Congratulations, campers! You un-mixed a mixture of green dye.

    What’s going on?

    The technique you just used to un-mix green color is called paper chromatography. When the water touches the paper, it travels up through a process called capillary action. (You learned about that in last week's experiments with the celery!)

    When the water reaches the green dye line, it pulls the dye along with it and separates out the different colors that make up the green dye mixture.

    Why do some colors move further than others?

    • Some of the colors stick to the paper more than others so they don’t move as far up the paper.
    • Some colors are smaller or lighter than others so they move further up the strip.

    In this way, the different colored dyes in the green food coloring are separated, or un-mixed!

    Green color paper chromatography | Camp Yellow Scope

    Adding salt to the water changes the properties of the water. It makes it more attractive to some types of dyes. Some dyes move faster in salt water than in plain water. This means that for certain dyes, like the green food coloring we used, that salt water gives a better separation of colors.

    The final paper with separated colors is called a chromatogram. Scientists use the terms stationary phase for paper (because it doesn’t move) and mobile phase for water (since it moves!)

     

    Extensions Paper Chromatography | Camp Yellow Scope 

    Why does it matter?

    Can you think of some applications of paper chromatography from your daily lives?

    1. Forensic scientists use chromatography to test samples found at a crime scene to help solve crimes.
    2. Food scientists use the technique to separate out and detect toxins in foods.
    3. Environmental scientists use chromatography to look for really small amounts of dangerous substances such as pesticides in groundwater.

    You own it!

    Test yourself: True or False

    1. Chemical reactions can be un-mixed.
    2. Paper chromatography is a technique that many different scientists use in their work. 
    3. Some dyes move up the filter paper different distances than others because they have different weights. 

    Answer key: 

    1. False. Chemical reactions cannot be un-mixed because during a chemical reaction the individual components change and form new molecules. Mixtures, which do not change when combined, can be un-mixed.
    2. True
    3. True 

      We hope you had fun separating dyes. Next week we'll have some fun with lemons! So check back next Tuesday for new experiments and more summer science fun!

      We'd love to see how your experiments turned out! Share your photos or videos:

      • Facebook: Yellow Scope Science Kits for Girls
      • Twitter: @YellowScopeGirl, #CampYellowScope
      • email: info@yellow-scope.com

      For more exciting experiments, check out our science kits on the SHOP tab of our website!