Cross Linking STEM Activity Slime

This is another one of my students favorite Chemistry classes, making slime.


Cross Linking, The Science Behind  Slime 

What’s the science behind the slime? The borate ions in the starch (borax powder or boric acid) mixes with the PVA (polyvinyl-acetate) glue and forms this cool stretchy substance. 

This is called cross linking.

The glue is a polymer and is made up of long, repeating, and identical strands or molecules. These molecules will flow past one another keeping the glue in a liquid state.

The addition of water is important to this process. Think about when you leave a gob of glue out, and you find it hard and rubbery the next day.

When you add the borate ions to the mixture, it starts to connect these long strands together. They begin to tangle and mix until the substance is less like the liquid you started with and is thicker and rubberier like slime.

This is my favorite slime recipe. The saline solution makes a nice smooth slime and if kids accidentally get some in their eye it wont hurt them.

How to make Saline Solution Slime

½ Cup White Glue

1 Tablespoon Saline Solution {contact solution}

½ Cup Water

½ teaspoons Baking Soda

Food Coloring


Bowl, Measuring Cups, Spoon

Sandwich ziplock bags or 5oz portion cups with lids


 Measure 1/2 cup of glue and pour into your bowl. 

To that, add 1/2 cup of water and mix the two ingredients together.

Once the two are well mixed, it’s time to add color and glitter. Make sure to stir well.

The next two steps are important to the forming of the slime itself.

Add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture and mix it in. This helps the slime firm up a bit more and create a solid.

Then you will add one tablespoon of saline solution to the whole mixture. Make sure that your saline solution contains both boric acid and sodium borate for the best slime activation.

Mix well.  You need to stir fast like you are trying to really whip up something. If it still feels loose, you can squirt a bit of solution into the bowl.

The slime will begin to form immediately thanks to the mixture of boric acid and sodium borate that is present in the saline solution. These two ingredients are cross linking agents that create your slime.

The final step is to knead your slime. Once the slime looks like it is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl, it’s time to remove it from the bowl.

This is where you get to play with the slime. Have fun

Slime Fun

I hope you find this activity fun, my students definitely did.

As always, follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall for the latest .

Until next time.

Insta Pot Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken over rice

This is a flavor packed recipe. You can adjust the amount of marmalade to your families personal tastes. The first time I made this I put in 18 oz of marmalade and it made my families eyes cross from the orange flavor.

I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Orange Chicken Insta Pot

3 Chicken Breasts cubed

6-8 oz Orange Marmalade

¼ cup Soy Sauce

1 cup BBQ Sauce

Rice made according to the package.

What you’ll need.
Cubed chicken breast
  1. Select Saute and cook chicken for about 5 minutes or until chicken is white on all sides. Chicken does not need to be cooked all the way though. Cancel Saute. Note: chicken produces a lot of liquid. Remove excess liquid before adding additional ingredients. If you leave the liquid in your sauce it will be diluted.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. Cook on manual for 10 minutes.
  4. Quick Release.
  5. Serve over rice.

This is an easy and quick recipe I’m sure your family will enjoy.

Please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time.

Orange Chicken

Smashwords Author’s Give Back Sale

With everything that is going on in the world Smashwords author’s wanted to give back to their readers. As one of those author’s I wanted you all to know about.

From now until April 20th thousands of titles are deeply discounted or free on the site.

Please come on by and see all the titles that are available.

You can click HERE to be taken to my author page to see my titles included in the sale and then navigate around to find other books and authors you’ll enjoy. Or click on the Smashwords logo below to get there.


Enjoy your book adventure.

As always, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time.

Some of my titles available on Smashwords

Making Something from Nothing Activity

During this time of no school and social distancing, I dove into my STEM enrichment materials to give you an activity that will get your kids creativity flowing and build something from nothing.

Below is my lesson plan I wrote for my enrichment. It is part of a bigger class Inventors Workshop so please excuse the treachery wording.

I hope your child enjoys this activity. My students did. There are a few pictures at the bottom of the post of students creating.

Objective: Thinking outside the box and creating from random items.

Materials Needed:

Bottle Glue

Stick Glue


Supplies for creating:



Have items out on a table for the students to select from. Here are some ideas for items you can collect for this activity. This is a great opportunity to clean out all the extra “stuff” you have tucked away.

More supplies

Bottles, bottle tops, pipe cleaners, straws, chopsticks, paper plates, plastic spoons, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, construction paper, small cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, yarn, string etc. 


Set out all creating items on a table.

Last class we created cars, ships, and other creations out of a random shape. You stretched your brain to be creative. Now we’re going to stretch your imagination and creativity to create something from this table of random everyday items.

Give a quick tour of all the items on the table.

There are only a few rules to using the supplies on the table.

Think about what you want to create before you select your supplies.

Once you select items from the table, please respect them.

If you decide you don’t need an item please return it to the table. 

Now that you’ve seen the items and taken a moment to think about what you can create. I’ll dismiss a few of you at a time to select your items.

When class time is close to completing, give students the opportunity to share their creations.

Please share your childrens creations. I love how creative kids can be.

As always, to keep up on my daily happenings, please follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time.

Student creation
More Creativity
Students being creative

Life Continues During Social Distancing

Today should have been the beginning of Spring Break, which technically it still is.We had plans to go to the Zoo, OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), the library and get things done around the house.

Our plans are a little different now but I don’t feel it’s a down grade. Yes, were not going out to some fun places but those places will be there when our social distancing is over. If you’ve been following me on Instagram then you’re up to date on what we’ve been doing during this first week of social distancing. We’ve cleaned the lofts in our garage, cleaned the gutters, done yard clean up in the front yard and doing some work in the back yard.

The weather this week isn’t looking as good as it was last week. It was sunny all week but this weeks forecast is rain. And it has been raining most of the day here. We were hoping to get mulch this week for the grass in the back yard but with all the rain we may not be able to do that. Also picking up mulch isn’t an essential item so venturing out to pick that up isn’t wise.

To insure we are all staying on somewhat of schedule during this time we sat down as a family and created one. Our kids have access to learning materials online from our school district to help keep their minds active. I wasn’t as concerned over materials for them as I was over getting a schedule for them. Both the boys are smart and they have always been a head of the game with their academics. So we have plenty of materials. But they are going to be out of school at least until April 28th. As an instructor for the school district I have to be ready to return to work on March 30th. What I’ll need to do isn’t 100% clear but I’ll be ready to do what needs to be done.

If you’re trying to establish a schedule for your children during this break I offer ours as an example. My boys are 13 and 15 for reference.

When they get up to 10am – Reading and Chores

10-12pm – School related work and Activities

12-1pm – Walk the dog and lunch

1-3pm – Family activities/ analog games/ reading

3- dinner – Electronics (computer/TV/video games)

7:30 – 9pm – Clean up dinner, showers, Computer or TV

9pm – Walk dog and get ready for bed

This schedule is for Monday – Friday. On Saturday and Sunday we have a much more relaxed schedule with yard work, cleaning and other family activities around the house. It’s the weekend we all like some time to chill out.

I hope this schedule helps you create your own.

Stay safe and healthy out there. This will pass and we will be stronger.

If your not already, follow me on instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Aiden working on science.
Parker working on a puzzle
Puzzle finished