Introduce Students to the Structure and Properties of Polymer Molecules That Compose All Plastics
- Substances are often placed in categories or groups if they react or behave in similar ways
- Engineers design specific chemicals to be used in a variety of ways
- Models can be used to understand and explain scientific phenomena
- Requires 1-2 50 minutes classroom periods to complete
Investigations include exploring the linear polymer found in white glue, then adding a cross-linker to the glue and studying the resulting cross-linked polymer. Paper clip models are also used to discover how the molecular structural differences of monomers, polymers, and cross-linked polymers alter the properties of the molecules.
Ordering information: Materials include polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), sodium borate solution, blue food coloring, clear plastic cups, stir sticks, graduated cups, paper clips, wide-mouth bottles.