Chemical Reactions

Posted on February 1st, 2011

Whenever we mix chemicals together and end up with a new end product, made of new molecules and we cannot get our starting materials back we have a chemical reaction.  Baking soda and vinegar react to make carbon dioxide gas, water and sodium acetate.  The vinegar, or acetic acid molecules are broken up into new molecules, as are the baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate molecules.  New molecules are made and the two chemicals we originally had are now gone.  Therefore, this is a chemical reaction. 

One of the most common requests we get from students and parents is for the materials we use to make our gak or our Lab Ratz Slime.  We make this during our chemical change workshop as a chemical reaction is responsible for making the experiment work.  It is actually very simple to replicate in the home laboratory.   All you need is a little white glue and some borax laundry booster.  When the two chemicals are mixed molecules in the glue begin to bond together, forming a long chain molecule made out of smaller molecules.  This is called a polymer.  Many plastics and rubbers are also polymers.  By adding some water along with the glue and borax you can make softer, gooier slime/gak.  Experiment with the quantities of each chemical and see how it affects the final product.  Also, try adding some food dye to make colored slime. 

MANY MORE CHEMICAL REACTIONS WILL BE ADDED VERY SOON!  PLEASE CHECK BACK OFTEN.