STEAM Fair 2020 Activity
Thanks to Chesapeake Family Life
Using simple ingredients – borax, glue, and water – this easy Homemade Gak recipe is fascinating to watch as two liquids come together to form a solid, or is it still a liquid? Or something in between, because Gak will move.
What you need:
- 4 ounces school glue
- 1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon Borax food coloring (optional)
- Small container for mixing
- Spoon for stirring Measuring cup
There is a tiny amount of borax in this recipe, don’t let small children (who may try to eat it) play with it.
How to make homemade Gak
- Mix water and glue
Pour the glue into a small container with 1/2 cup of water
- Add color
Add the food coloring…(optional)
- Stir in well.
- Add Borax to remain water
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of Borax with the remaining 1/4 cup of warm water. Very important: stir until the borax is completely dissolved.
- Combine the mixtures
Pour the borax water into the glue mixture.
Stir the gak until it’s become more solid and is forming around the spoon. Watch and be amazed.
- Handle It
Waiting to handle it until the food coloring is well mixed in.
Note: Make sure you 100% dissolve the borax in water before adding to the glue or the recipe will FAIL!
How does it work?
The mixture of Elmer’s Glue-All with Borax and water produces a putty-like material called a polymer. Polymers are made out of long strands of molecules. If the long molecules slide past each other easily, then the substance acts like a liquid because the molecules flow. If the molecules stick together at a few places along the strand, then the substance behaves like a rubbery solid called an elastomer. Borax is the compound that is responsible for hooking the glue’s molecules together to form the putty-like material.
Gak will bounce, it will slowly spread. Observe the other properties Gak. Gak does not have to be refrigerated and will keep for about a month.