Monday, February 6, 2012

Learning About Viscoelasticity by Making Bouncy Balls!

Grace and Jack made bouncy balls and through this experiment they learned that the balls they made, although they looked and felt like a solid, were actually not! Instead, their bouncy balls were something between a solid and a liquid called viscoelastic! They discovered that their bouncy balls eventually started flattening out when they were not touched.

Here is how Grace and Jack make their bouncy balls:

1) Mix 1/4 cup of white glue with a few drops of food coloring.
2) In a separate glass, dissolve 1 tablespoon of borax in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add 2 tablespoons of this mixture to the glue mixture and mix together. Grace and Jack played with this mixture for awhile before moving on to the next step.
3) Add a few drops of the extra borax mixture to the dough mixture made above and begin rolling it between your hands to form a ball. Continue rolling the ball until it is hard and dry enough so that if dropped, it bounces.

Here are some pictures of Grace and Jack making their bouncy balls...

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