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Question: How does the amount of Borax solution affect the consistency of Gak? Background: Gak (slime or silly putty) is a unique chemical called a polymer. Depending on the amount of pressure applied, it can behave like a liquid or a solid. It can snap if pulled too quickly or stretch if pulled slowly. It may bounce if dropped; yet, if left alone for a while, it will slowly ooze into a gak puddle. Other polymers include JellO, plastics, rubber bands, tires, gum and sneaker soles. The behavior of polymers is attributed to their chemical structure. A polymer is a large molecule that is made up of many chemical units. These chemical units are strung together by covalent bonds to create chains, like a beaded necklace. Furthermore, these chains are sometimes linked together by hydrogen-bonds. Recall that hydrogen-bonds are weak attractions formed between polar molecules, but when in large numbers, the bonds can be very strong. When pressure is applied slowly to a substance like Gak, the hydrogen bonds are capable of breaking and quickly reforming along the chainsthis allows the substance to stretch. When pressure is applied too quickly, the hydrogen bonds are broken and do not have the chance to reform. This is why it will snap! Today, we will make Gak using Elmers glue and Borax solution. You will be given a set amount of Elmers glue solution, however, you will be able to modify the amount of Borax solution used (within a certain limit). The Borax compound provides the hydrogen bonds that hook the chains together. Hypothesis: Predict how much borax solution is required to produce the best Gak consistency. Materials: Elmers glue solution Wooden popsicle stick (stirring rod) Plastic cup Borax solution Graduated cylinder Food coloring Container (provided by student)

Procedure: 1. Pour 25 mL of tap water into the Elmers glue provided and stir well. 2. Choose 1-2 drops of color (applied by teacher). 3. Add Borax solution 1 mL at a time while constantly stirring. Continue until you get the perfect batch of Gak slime. Results/Conclusion: Record all observations as Borax solution was added. Describe the desired consistency. Finally, how much Borax solution was needed to achieve this consistency? Does this support your hypothesis? If not, how far off was your prediction? Analyze your results (explain why they occurred). Play!! Observe how the Gak polymer behaves when you play with it. Keep it away from clothing and hair!! And do NOT play with it during other classes.