I’m Melting

A witch placed into acetone melts into sticky goo. The goo can be molded into different shapes before it hardens.

What you’ll need
foam cup
pen
goggles
rubber gloves
acetone (nail polish remover)
glass or metal bowl

1, Draw a picture of a wicked witch on an upside-down foam cup. Put on the goggles and rubber gloves.
Pour acetone into the bowl so it is about Vi inch deep.
3,  Put the witch into the acetone, feet first. Watch as the witch melts, just like the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz! As you watch, say in your best witch voice, “I’m melting, I’m melting.”
4,  When the witch has totally melted, reach into the acetone and pull out the goo. Mold it into any shape—when it dries you will have a statue.

Safety
Adult supervision is needed for this project. Protect your eyes from the acetone by wearing goggles and your hands by wearing rubber gloves. Don’t pour the acetone into a plastic bowl because it could damage the bowl. Do this activity in an area with good air circulation.

What Happened?
Similar to salt dissolving in water, polystyrene foam dissolves in acetone. The foam in the cup holds millions of tiny pockets of air. This makes the cup a great insulator, helping to keep your hot chocolate warm on cold days. When the foam dissolves in the acetone, the air is released, and a sticky goo results. When the foam goo hardens, it doesn’t have air pockets anymore.

Fun Fact
Styrofoam is made from a chemical called polystyrene. The Dow Chemical Company invented it in the 1940s. Polystyrene beads are heated and air is blown in to create air bubbles in the foam. It is used for cups, home insulation, packing material, and flotation devices.

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