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Sodium Alginate Worms

Autopause

Materials

1 Bottle of Sodium Alginate
1 Bottle of Sodium Alginate
4 Bottles of Food Coloring
4 Bottles of Food Coloring
1 Clear Dish
1 Clear Dish
1 Pipette
1 Pipette
3 Plastic Cups
3 Plastic Cups
1 Plunger
1 Plunger
Calcium Lactate Gluconate
Calcium Lactate Gluconate

Instructions

STEP 1
3:49

Reach into your kit & pull out the bag with the big bottle in it. Take everything out of the bag and place it around the white mat that is also included in your box. Then, place the empty bag back in your box.

STEP 2
4:05

Take the square clear dish and place it in the middle of the mat. Next, pour half of the sodium alginate into the container using a zig-zag motion.

STEP 3
4:46

Add 3 drops of food coloring (3 drops of each color). Remember to leave some space between each color and don’t get it too close to the edge.

STEP 4
5:25

Place your pipette in the center of a food coloring drop. While touching the pipette to the bottom, slowly move it away from the drop. Use this technique to draw a design.

STEP 5
5:57

Now repeat the steps above for the next color. Continue drawing with the remaining colors. Create fun shapes!

STEP 6
6:26

Time to get creative! Try drawing lines through all of the colors or adding swirls. You can even add a few more drops of color to really bring your artwork to life.

STEP 7
7:54

Next, move your artwork off to the side and clear your workspace. Grab the bottle of remaining sodium alginate and your food coloring and place them onto the mat.

STEP 8
8:13

Add 6 drops of any color to the bottle of sodium alginate then put the cap back on tight. Gently flip the bottle over, then back upright again. Repeat this back-and-forth motion at least 20 times until the color is fully mixed. Tip: remember not to shake it, you don’t want too many bubbles!

STEP 9
9:08

Pour your colored sodium alginate liquid into one of the empty plastic cups. Next, fill the other empty cup ¾ of the way with water. Tip: cold water works best.

STEP 10
9:57

Grab the tube of white powder labeled Calcium Lactate Gluconate. Empty the entire tube into the cup of water and begin mixing right away. Continue mixing for 10 seconds until the powder is dissolved. Tip: a small amount may still remain in the bottom of the cup, that’s okay.

STEP 11
10:42

Using the plunger, suck up some of the colored sodium alginate liquid into it, until it reaches the “10” mark.

STEP 12
11:09

Next, hold the tip of your plunger just above the water and push down on the plunger handle to ooze your colored liquid into the water. Wait 10 seconds, then reach in and slowly pull out what you’ve made!

STEP 13
11:51

Go ahead and play with your worm! Examine it up close to see the liquid that is still inside and how you can move around as you squeeze it. Now break it! You can ooze the liquid out, how cool!?

How It Works

This first part of our experiment works because the liquid is really thick. When a liquid is really thick we say it has a high viscosity, like honey. When it’s really thin, like water, it has a low viscosity. Viscosity is actually a scale with many things in-between, like chocolate syrup, which is somewhere between water and honey. We are working with Sodium Alginate, which comes from seaweed and makes liquid really, really thick.

Our second part of our experiment makes a chemical reaction, which is when two chemicals are mixed together and makes something new. For our worms, we mixed the chemical with our seaweed in it into our chemical with the calcium in it and it formed a gel. That gel is made out of Calcium Alginate and only forms where the two liquids touch. This material has some real-life uses, like making fruit juices into a jelly ball. It is also used to help wounds heal faster.
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