"Pass me the ingredients – Let's roll out slime sessions across the UK", says teacher

Following a ‘Slime Session’ experiment that found pupils playing with slime had on average an 11% decrease in stress levels, with up to 39% in some cases, teacher, University Challenge contestant and The Big Bang Competition judge Bobby Seagull has backed its roll out across the UK


We are inviting schools across the UK to introduce break-time Slime Sessions. Please get in contact if you would like to be involved bigbang@cowpr.com

An estimated 1 in 10 young people struggle with mental health problems in the UK, and off the back of this The Big Bang challenged Professor Brendan Walker to see if classroom STEM can support the wellbeing of youngsters, via an experiment using slime
• The one-off experiment was created by The Big Bang Fair based on insight that slime has tactile and sensory qualities and can have a calming effect on kids and adults
• Not only is it therapeutic but slime is STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) in action. The varied consistencies and resistances being produced by different formulae are pure chemistry
• The experiment found that those that took part recorded on average an 11% decrease in stress levels, with up to 39% in some cases
• On the back of the results, teacher, University Challenge contestant and The Big Bang Competition judge Bobby Seagull has backed its roll out, quite literally, across the UK

With an estimated 1 in 10 young people struggling with mental health problems1, finding new ways to relax – from reading a book to gentle exercise to doing something creative – can help improve young people’s wellbeing. To offer a fun, alternative method, The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair challenged engineer Professor Brendan Walker to conduct a unique experiment to test whether slime might have a positive effect on young people’s wellbeing and focus.
The experiment started with young people making the slime by mixing PVA glue, cornstarch and food colouring. Professor Walker, an engineer who runs a practice specialising in measuring emotional and physiological responses, then used Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensors to measure fluctuations in pupils’ sweat levels through a series of tasks, such as mental arithmetic, whilst playing with slime and the same series of tasks again without it.
The results of the experiment revealed an average decrease in stress measured in this way of around 11%, with some pupils showing up to 39% decrease. In some cases, playing with slime almost completely cancelled out the stress caused by a difficult cognitive task. This suggests that playing with slime significantly relaxes you in a stressful situation.

 

THE SLIME SESSION EXPERIMENT AND RESULTS

The experiment started with young people making the slime by mixing PVA glue, corn starch and food colouring. Professor Walker, an engineer who runs a practice specialising in measuring emotional and physiological responses, then used Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) sensors to measure fluctuations in pupils’ sweat levels through a series of tasks, such as mental arithmetic, whilst playing with slime and the same series of task again without it.

 The results of the experiment revealed an average decrease in stress measured in this way of around 11%, with some pupils showing up to 39% decrease. In some cases, playing with slime almost completely cancelled out the stress caused by a difficult cognitive task. This suggests that playing with slime significantly relaxes you in a stressful situation.

On the back of hearing the results teacher, University Challenge contestant and The Big Bang Competition judge Bobby Seagull has backed its roll out across the UK. He said, "You only have to read the news or watch TV to see the host of issues that youngsters are faced with and being a teacher means I have seen the anxieties that affect students in the classroom first hand. Besides talking about any worries they may have, it also takes new, innovative methods to try and help offset these problems, including The Big Bang Fair’s Slime Sessions. If a lunchtime activity as simple as playing with slime, which costs very little, has a huge affect on decreasing the stress levels, then I am all for it. In fact, I’d recommend a nationwide roll out in schools across the UK - pass me the ingredients and let’s get cracking!"

Professor Brendan Walker said, “Having heard of the number of children who struggle with pressures at school and throughout their day to day life, I was delighted to team up with The Big Bang Fair to run the Slime Session experiment. Slime is a form of sensory play and stress reliever, so any children, or even adults, who create and play with slime, are unknowingly releasing endorphins. In turn this can have a calming effect on our body and improve our concentration levels, which is very important when trying to be productive in a learning environment. From the results we can visibly see the introduction of a slime session, either at school or home, can have a positive change so I’d definitely encourage teachers, parents and pupils to have a go – it’s great fun too!”

Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK, added: “Slime is a great example of DIY chemistry in action at the root of one of the world’s biggest trends amongst children. The Big Bang Fair is all about getting young people excited by STEM, and showcasing how STEM is not only part and parcel of our everyday lives but also at the heart of exciting future careers is really important to us at The Big Bang Fair.”

 

 

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