Not So Solid…Not So Liquid… Glueup

By aroth on Oct 22, 2015

In the world of physics, some properties don’t always behave like we think they should. A liquid should flow and fill a container; a solid should not move. In the world of non-Newtonian fluids, we will create a cross between a solid and a liquid (like toothpaste) and note the properties.


  • Glue
  • Borax
  • Ziploc bags (quart size)
  • Distilled water
  • Bowls (2 per group)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Measuring spoons
  • Meter stick
  • Gloves
  • A wild imagination



  1. In one bowl mix 1/2 cup (4 oz.) glue and 1 ½ bottles (emptied glue bottle) of warm water. Add food coloring if you want colored slime.
  2. In the other bowl, mix 1 teaspoon borax with 1 cup water until the borax is dissolved.
  3. Add the borax solution to the Ziploc. Next, add the glue mixture to the Ziploc bag, close the bag and squeeze the mixture together.
  4. The slime will begin to form immediately; stir as much as you can, then dig in and knead it with your hands until it gets less sticky. (No one makes slime without getting a little messy!) Don't worry about any leftover water in the bowl; just pour it out.


(You can take this experiment as far as you like, depending on the age group and grade levels.  Let’s test the properties of the Glueup!
  1. Hardness: Roll the glueup into a ball. Press your sample with your index finger. Rate the sample from soft to hard, on a scale of 1-5.
  2. Stickiness: Form a sample into a ball and place it in your hand. Rate the sample from less sticky to stickiest, on a scale from 1-5
  3. Bounce: Shape the glueup into a ball. Hold the meter stick against the tabletop. Drop the ball from heights of 50 cm; 75 cm and 100 cm. Determine the height of the bounce.
  4. Stretch: Form the glueup into a cylinder. Place the meter stick on the table. Starting from the 0 cm mark, pull the glueup cylinder until it breaks. Record the distance.
  5. Shrinkage: Form the glueup into a cylinder. Stretch to a length of 10 cm. Measure the shrinkage at 10 sec, 20 sec and 30 sec intervals.
  You have just tested Glueup A. Make up other solutions and test as follows: a.  Glueup B: 15 mL glue, 30 mL water, 10 mL borax solution. b.  Glueup C: 15 mL glue, no water, 10 mL borax solution. c.  Glueup D: 15 mL glue, 15 mL water and 20 mL borax solution. d.  Glueup E: Your secret recipe.   Glueup A data tabledata table B


NGSS Standards:

PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
Different kinds of matter exist and many of them can be either solid or liquid, depending on temperature. Matter can be described and classified by its observable properties. (2-PS1-1)
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