Monday, 9 June 2014

Crazy Putty!

The PVA glue you use is a type of polymer called polyvinyl acetate (PVA for short), while the borax is made of a chemical called sodium borate. When you combine the two in a water solution, the borax reacts with the glue molecules, joining them together into one giant molecule. This new compound is able to absorb large amounts of water, producing a putty like substance which you can squish in your hands or even bounce.

To see more reflections see the comments on this post


  1. It was fun, we found out that if you created a mixture it could create a new chemical substance. We had never heard of borax before, so it was interesting to see the chemical reactions it caused. Maybe our next steps could be to do some more research into the chemical structure of borax, and how it affects other chemicals. Our questions are:
    How could you make it more stretchy?
    What would happen if we added more/less borax?
    What would happen if we added more/less water?
    What would happen if we added more/less PVA glue?
    ~ Izzy, Brianna & Ela


  3. I enjoyed the science today because i made 3 bouncy balls & put them together
    I learnt that you can make a bouncy ball with P.V.A water & borax.
    I find that I'm having fun when i build the item.
    how does the ball bounce?
    trying different amounts of water p.v.a & borax

  4. Livvy, Marina and Katie9 June 2014 at 19:41

    We think we did well today, we made 2 glue balls and each one was different. The first one was green and had the normal amount of everything, and the 2nd one was pink and had more borax and less water and normal amount of glue. It was fun making them, they were squishy, kind of bouncy, gooey and sticky. We could identify the chemical and physical reactions easily, the borax was a chemical reaction, and the water and food colouring was a physical reaction. We enjoyed todays activity, maybe next time we could do some different experimenting with different amounts of the borax, water, and glue.
    What would happen if we didn’t add any water?
    What would happen if we put the ball under water?
    What would happen if we used different type of glue?

  5. We enjoyed the activity while learning lots about the way that it changed form. We were slightly confused on if it was a physical or chemical change, or even both… So our next step is to research that and the things below.

    Our predictions were that if you put more PVA glue and slightly water with the same amount of borax it will be quite large and not quite so bouncy.
    Our other prediction was if you add more borax it will become very bouncy.

    If you put no water at all, what would happen?
    If you put less borax what would happen?

  6. We think that our chemistry went pretty well because our mixture turned out how it was supposed to but our second one wasn’t that successful because we put in too much borax so it was really grainy and it was bouncier than the first one but we did both of ours pink so it will be hard to see who’s is who’s Zoes is a really hot pink and Charlottes is lighter but we are still happy with our result.

    Charlotte & Zoe.

  7. I enjoyed making putty balls with PVA, borax and water. I found it very interesting watching the chemicals form and make a new molecular structure. I made one ball and then experimented with the other. I decided to add less water and see what will happen. I predicted that it would stick less and bounce more. The result was that the putty came apart more and bounced more. This was very interesting. My theory is that the water sticks the putty together and makes it less bouncy.


    If you replaced water with another liquid will it work the same?

    Could other chemicals work instead of borax?

    Next steps

    To understand the molecular structure a bit more.

    Make more observations.

  8. This chemistry session I think I did well but my groups ball wasn’t bouncy enough. We made a second ball with less water and a tiny bit more borax and that time it bounced.

    What would happen if you put no PVA glue in the ball? What would happen if you put no water in it?

  9. Eleanor's reflection from chemistry

    Today in inquiry we used borax, PVA and water to make crazy putty. To make this we had to have exact proportions of each substances to make this into putty, as we put the PVA and the water in it was still a liquid, but when we added the borax it thickened and stuck together forming a ball like shape. This was very exciting and interesting to make.

    Next time I would add more borax to make it bouncier.

    What would happen if I put lots of PVA?
    What would happen if I added to little water?

    By Eleanor

  10. I have learnt a lot about physical and chemical changes, mixtures and compounds, and the atom structure in solids liquids and gases.
    I have enjoyed doing the artwork and blending the colors for effect.
    I would like to know what element fire is: solid liquid or gas?

  11. I learnt that PVA, Borax and water creates a squishy putty like substance that I like to call 'Squishy putty stuff'. The thing I enjoyed with the squishy putty stuff was that you could change it's colour and add other squishy putty stuff with different colours to your squishy putty stuff.

    Is it a homogeneous or heterogeneous mixture?

  12. I learnt that when PVA , Borax ,Water creates a bouncy putty ball thing I really enjoyed both playing and making my putty ball i liked it when i got to choose a colour pink or green or sometimes both