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Polymers Teacher Resources
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Over four sessions, learners survey the production and use of polymers and petroleum products. First, they participate in a kinesthetic activity to demonstrate how polymers act, and review a list of common products made from polymers. They then spend three days conceiving, researching, and delivering a presentation about how life today would be different without petroleum products. Resource contains extensive explanation about formation, properties, and uses of petroleum.
Young scholars explore polymer properties. In this lesson about polymers, students perform an experiment to understand polymers, their properties, and that they are formed from small molecules. Young scholars role play pretending they are polymer molecules, examine polymer models, and make their own "silly putty". Students watch a final demonstration by the teacher.
Students recognize the meaning of a polymer and how they are synthesized and observe and compare the properties and phases of both synthetic and natural polymers. They conduct experiments in which they synthesize a variety of polymers and present their findings in a group Power Point presentation.
A succinct set of slides introduces upcoming chemists to the building blocks of life. The special properties of carbon are explained so that viewers understand why life is based on this molecule. Biomolecules (protein, lipid, carbohydrate, and nucleic acid) are introduced as polymers. Condensation and hydrolysis reactions are investigated. A terrific way to follow this presentation would be to have your class build models of carbon-based polymer molecules! By the way, this is not only useful for your chemists, but biology learners would also benefit from this resource.
Students investigate polymers by completing 3 experiments. In this polymer lesson plan, students mix plastic with acetone, they create polyurethane foam, they make slime and build a polymer model once their polyurethane foam is set. They also make any sort of shape with their polystyrene cup and complete a worksheet identifying the polymers in their home.
Eighth graders investigate chemical reactions to produce polymers. In this polymers lesson plan, 8th graders experiment with sodium silicate and ethyl alcohol to make a polymer. They also experiment with borax and glue to make a polymer. Students record observations and properties of the reactants and products and answer 7 questions about their discoveries.