Adler Planetarium

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Let's do science! Flubber is a special type of a polymer that when pulled, can be stretched out for a long time without breaking. After you let go, the flubber will return to its original shape. What will you discover when you make flubber at home? Step 1 Did you know you have a real live laboratory in your house? It's your kitchen! All the supplies you need can be found there or in your local grocery store. To make flubber, you'll need: 3/4 cup of cold water; 1 cup of Elmer's glue; liquid food coloring; 1/2 cup of hot water; 1 teaspoon of Borax (you can find this in the laundry aisle at the grocery store); 2 bowls; and mixing utensils. Step 2 Mix the cold water, glue, and food coloring together in a bowl, and set aside. Step 3 In another bowl, mix the hot water and Borax together until the Borax is completely dissolved. Step 4 Slowly pour the glue mixture into the bowl with the Borax mixture and mix well. Pour off any excess water. Step 5 What can you do with flubber? What happens when you stretch it? If you roll it into a ball and drop it on the floor, does it bounce? Stretch it over the opening of a jar, what happens? Share your discoveries with us on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag Science4Everyone!


Connection to Space Science

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Suited for the Job

If you were designing a space suit, what types of materials would you use? Apollo space suits used on the Moon needed to be designed to hold up against the extreme lunar environment, and flexible enough for astronauts to move around easily. Scientists designing the space suit needed to use unique materials that would keep the astronaut both safe and comfortable.

Check out the x-ray image of an Apollo era space suit. Can you see where scientists used the bellow-shaped, rubber joints at the shoulder and elbows? Why would scientists want to use rubber, a special polymer, in a spacesuit?

To learn more about Apollo era space suits, visit our Shoot for the Moon exhibition where you’ll see a helmet and gloves designed for the Apollo 13 mission.