Polyworms at Discovery Time!

10 03 2009

Discovery Time at the Museum features a fun and interesting activity for kids. The activity is led by a gallery educator in the Rotunda area. I was able to catch up with Miss Cami at Discovery Time as she made polyworms!

filling the cup 1/2 full with worm activator!

filling the cup 1/2 full with worm activator!

 

 

 

Step 1: Miss Cami pours the “worm activator” (a solution of calcium chloride) into a cup.

Adding worm goo to the worm activator

Adding worm goo to the worm activator

 

 

 

Step 2: The kids squeeze the colored “worm goo” (sodium alginate + food coloring) into the cup of worm activator.

Finished polyworms!

Finished polyworms!

 

 

 

Step 3: Wait a few seconds and then use the spoon or your fingers to get the worm out!

 

 

 

 WOW! it’s a squishy, slimy worm! If you squeeze the worm hard enough though, it will pop and the worm’s “guts” will ooze out again! Eeew! The worms may look like candy, but you wouldn’t want to eat these worms! Yuck!

A funky shaped worm

A funky shaped worm

S0, what is it? These are special polymer worms. Polymers are made up of many molecules linked together to form really long chains. Poly- means “many” and -mer means “part”. Things that we can’t see made the polymers link together. This is a chemical reaction. When the calcium in the worm activator and the worm goo mix, the chemical reaction links the worm goo polymers together, making a polymer strand. You can find everything you need to make Polyworms on stevespanglerscience.com.

Making polyworms!

Making polyworms!

 

 

The kids looked like they were having so much fun, I wanted to make one too! Check out this and other fun activities held in the Rotunda during Discovery Time!! I hope to see you there!

–Miss Patty 🙂

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