THE SCIENCE LAB

Make & Do Activity Kit

Gelatine decorations
The different properties of gelatine, when heated and mixed with water, can be used to make ‘stained glass’ decorations. Decorate your Christmas tree, hang them in a window or decorate a gift.

Time: 20 minutes + 2-3 days hardening Difficulty: Hints: Lighter colours work best for this activity
as light will pass through the gelatine more easily. The hot water steps should be done by an adult.

step: Put 5 1. Adult tablespoons of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Drop in 1-2 drops of food colouring at this stage if you want colour. step: Turn down 2. Adult to a low heat. Pour in 3 tablespoons of gelatine powder while stirring. Mix until dissolved.

What you will need:
• hot water • a saucepan • mixing spoon • tablespoon • a butter knife Optional: • food colouring • • • • • a straw powdered gelatine a plastic lid with lip narrow ribbon silver or gold glitter

step: Keep on low 3. Adult heat for 30 seconds more or until the mixture thickens. Pour mixture into the plastic lid. this stage add the glitter 4. At evenly to the gelatine and mix. With a spoon, push any froth or bubbles to the side of your lid as they will cloud your decoration surface. to cool and harden 5. Allow for about 45 minutes. Then gently lift the edge and peel back your gelatine from the lid.

• biscuit cutters

Drying notes:
The drying stage will take 2-3 days. The gelatine will tend to dry faster on the outside. This will tend to warp the shape as it will curl. To prevent this you can keep turning the shape. When it hardens further, sandwich it between baking paper and place a heavy book on top.
500 Harris st. Ultimo

the templates and 6. Using a butter knife or biscuit cutters, cut out your shapes. Use the straw to cut a hole at the edge to thread with ribbon. See Drying notes.
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500 Harris St Ultimo Tel: 02 6217 0111 This work is licensed under the Creative POK346 Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 http://play.powerhousemuseum.com This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionPO Box Haymarket NSW 1238 Commons Attribution-NonCommercialAustralia Tel: 02 9217 0111 NonCommercial 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC 3.0 AU) Australia ShareAlikeLicence 2.5 License.

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THE SCIENCE LAB

Make & Do Activity Kit

Gelatine decorations

Page 2

What is going on?
Gelatine is a form of protein called collagen Collogen molecules line up to form fibres. These fibres don’t dissolve in water. The fibres form a network that holds the cells in place. When collagen is heated it forms a smaller protein called gelatine. Gelatine does dissolve in water. When gelatin cools again it makes a semi solid mass or gel. Your gelatin decorations will set hard like plastic in 2-3 days.

What else can I do?
Different colours shapes and sizes This activity can be done using different colours of food colouring as well as different sizes and shapes. Experiment with glitters, sequins and other additives. Below is an example of decorations made with biscuit cutters and coloured with red and green food colouring. Some of the shapes have 2 colours.

Did you know?
Collagen in your own body Collagen is found in the bodies of all animals, including our own. It makes up more than a quarter of all protein content in a mammals body. It is an important structural protein and is mostly found in tendons, ligaments and skin as well as corneas, cartilage, bones and blood vessels. Collagen is an ancient glue Collagen can also be made into an effective adhesive. Glue made from collagen was used by ancient Egyptians 4 000 years ago. 1 500 year old Native American bows have been found that used collagen glues to hold them together. The oldest collagen glue ever found was carbondated to more than 8 000 years ago. It had been used as a protective lining inside rope baskets and to glue the handles onto stone utensils.

500 Harris St Ultimo PO Box K346 Haymarket NSW 1238 Australia

Tel: 02 6217 9 0111 http://play.powerhousemuseum.com

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 2.5 License.

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