It’s dinosaur couture! Polymers are everywhere: in your body, in your clothes, and in art all over The Met. Learn about how we use the science of plastics and polymers to preserve art and try to protect the future from waste and pollution.
#MetKids Microscope is a show about the science behind the art (and the art behind the science!) at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Learn true stories about real discoveries from scientists at the Museum, and do some experiments on your own!
Do Not Not Try This at Home: Make Your Own Glue
Difficulty Level: 3/5
Nonfat milk or skim milk
Coffee filters of paper towels
1. Add seven tablespoons of nonfat milk or skim milk to the jar.
2. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the milk. Wait 15 minutes! A solid substance will start to form and sink to the bottom of the jar.
3. After the solid substance has settled, pat it with a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid.
4. Use the solid substance as glue! Test how well it works on different materials and compare it to store-bought glue.
Congratulations! You just made a polymer!
What do you notice about the glue you made at home?
Head of Digital Content: Sofie Andersen
Executive Producer: Sarah Wambold
Director/Writer/Producer: Benjamin Korman
Animation Direction: Lisa LaBracio
Art Direction: Lisa LaBracio
Animation: Lisa LaBracio
Experiment Photography: Mia Nacamulli
Production Coordinators: Lela Jenkins, Emma Masdeu-Perez
Narrator: Corin Wells, Adriana Rizzo
Education Consultants: Emily Blumenthal, Darcy-Tell Morales, Julie Marie Seibert
Episode Consultants: Yaelle Biro, Mellissa Huber, Glenn Petersen, Adriana Rizzo
Original Music: Austin Fisher
Sound Mix: Dave Raymond
Additional Photography: Peter Berson
Special Thanks: Téo Nacamulli Tabet
Herbert Levine, Inc. (American, founded 1949). Sandals, late 1960s. Polyvinylchloride, polyethylene, styrene-butadiene copolymer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Beth Levine, 1976 (1976.166.7a, b)
Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973); Maker: Jean Clemént (French, 1900–1949). Necklace, fall 1938. Synthetic, metal. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 1955 (2009.300.1234)
Comb, 20th century. Spanish. Cellulose nitrate. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. J. Murdoch Howland, 1977 (1977.149)
Comb, late 18th century. American. Tortoiseshell. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Miss Marie A. Main, 1899 (99.16.2)
Power Figure (Nkisi N'Kondi: Mangaaka), 19th century. Republic of the Congo or Cabinda, Angola, Chiloango River region. Kongo peoples, Yombe group. Wood, iron, resin, ceramic, plant fiber, textile, pigment, 46 3/8 x 19 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (118 x 49.5 x 39.4 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace, Drs. Daniel and Marian Malcolm, Laura G. and James J. Ross, Jeffrey B. Soref, The Robert T. Wall Family, Dr. and Mrs. Sidney G. Clyman, and Steven Kossak Gifts, 2008 (2008.30)
Powder Horn, dated 1759. Colonial American culture, New York. Horn (cow), wood, L. 11 7/8 x 2 3/4 in. (30.2 x 7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Collection of J. H. Grenville Gilbert, of Ware, Massachusetts, Gift of Mrs. Gilbert, 1937 (37.131.4)
Model Tipi, late 1860s–76. Canada or United States, Alberta or Montana. Blackfoot culture. Native-tanned skin, paint, beads, cloth, horsehair, 24 x 43 in. (61 x 109.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Ralph T. Coe Collection, Gift of Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts, 2011 (2011.154.10)
Sculptural Element from a Reliquary Ensemble: Head (The Great Bieri), 19th century. Gabon. Fang peoples, Betsi group. Wood, metal, palm oil, 18 3/8 x 9 3/4 x 6 5/8 in. (46.5 x 24.8 x 16.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Bequest of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1979 (1979.206.229)
Elsa Schiaparelli (Italian, 1890–1973). Evening Belt, ca. 1938. French culture. Cellulose acetate, metal, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1951 (2009.300.2764)
Images © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
© 2021 The Metropolitan Museum of Art #MetKids is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies