STEM Night – Bouncy Balls

I hold STEM nights once a month at the library.  Usually they activities revolve around science or engineering.  At the moment we don’t have much technology that is geared towards kids at our library but plans for that are in the works so soon I will have more technology based events.  I love the engineering activities because they are open ended and really encourage critically thinking.   STEM nights are a great way to get boys in the library and some of the older elementary aged children as well.  That is sometimes a hard age group to get to attend events but it’s an important one to focus on to bridge the gap between preschool aged kids and teens.

This month we made home made bouncy balls.  This is a simple chemical reaction that creates a really fun product!

How to make a bouncy ball

Ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tb Borax
  • 1 Tb Cornstartch
  • 2 Tb White glue
  • Food coloring

Instructions:

  1. In a cup mix the warm water and the borax
  2. In another cup mix the glue, cornstarch, and food coloring
  3. Pour the glue mixture into the water-borax cup
  4. The glue mixture will harden after 10 seconds, use a fork to take it out of the water
  5. Roll the mixture in your hands to make it into the ball.  You will have to need it some to get it to the right consistency.
  6. You’re done! HAVE FUN!

The kids had so much fun throwing their bouncy balls against a wall and playing with this experiment.  If working with younger kids I would have everything pre-measured and ready to go to ensure the class runs smoothly.  Older kids will be able to measure on their own.

Try this in your classroom or library! It’s a great activity!