Electricity and Magnetism

Electric Slime

Enrichment Activity for 5-11 11-14

What you need

  • Cornflour
  • A tablespoon
  • A cup
  • Putty
  • Vegetable oil
  • Polystyrene or a balloon


  1. Mix two to three tablespoons of cornflour with vegetable oil in the cup to make a gloopy, slime-like thick cream
  2. Rub the polystyrene or balloon on your hair
  3. Make a stream with the slime by pouring it from the tablespoon back into the cup. Wave the polystyrene object or balloon near the slime stream. The slime should move towards the balloon and become much thicker

Results and Explanation

The slime is made of tiny particles of starch surrounded by oil. Rubbing the object makes it negatively charged and it attracts the positive ends of the starch particles so that these line up and clump together.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

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is used in analyses relating to Ionisation
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