Slime success story at Little Ilford secondary school
- Credit: Archant
“Slime Sessions” have been introduced into science lessons at Little Ilford school in response to an experiment which shows that playing with gunk has a positive impact on stress levels.
The experiment, first undertaken by the Big Bang science fair, used sensors to compare sweat levels experienced during a series of tasks completed with and without slime.
It was found that pupils who played with slime during the tasks enjoyed an 11 per cent decrease in stress levels (on average), a boost considering that one in 10 young people in the UK suffer from mental health problems.
This prompted teacher and University Challenge contestant Bobby Seagull to introduce the sessions into the Manor Park school, beginning with his Year 9 pupils: "The pupils were a lot more engaged than normal. I call it 'learning through stealth', where the pupils learn about new concepts while having fun.
"They don't realise how much information they're actually taking in. Of course, the main thing is that these slime sessions decrease stress levels and improve mental health."
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The therapautic slime was made by mixing PVA glue, cornstarch and food colouring.
Bobby joked that he was glad the session was not a one-off, as there is still a large amount of glue and cornstarch left over from the first batch of slime prepared.
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He said that there are plans to include year seven and eight pupils in future sessions after they were desperate to get involved.
Greater numbers of young people are now experiencing mental health issues, the impact of which Bobby witnesses first hand: "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 see the anxieties that affect students in the classroom."
Teachers are tasked with finding new, innovative ways to tackle these issues - slime sessions have now been proven as an effective and affordable way of doing so. For Bobby a nationwide roll out is a no-brainer, or, as he quips "pass me the ingredients and let's get cracking!"