Polymers Teacher Resources
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From DNA to Silly Putty, The Diverse World of Polymers
Polymers make up nearly everything in the world around us; some are naturally occurring, while others are synthetic. Learn about how polymers form, what they are used for, and some of the potential environmental and health dangers of certain man-made polymers.
5 mins 9th - Higher Ed Science 13 Views 9 Downloads CCSS: Adaptable
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.
6th - 12th Science 8 Views 28 Downloads
Polymers and Products from Petroleum
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.
6th - 12th Science 3 Views 59 Downloads
Polymers and Crystals: Their Role in Food Science
Blend chemistry with cooking in this exploration of polymers, carbohydrates, and food science. Experimenting with gelatin produces concrete examples of the bonding and ploymerization discussed in the lesson. Copious, comprehensive teacher resource links are attached, so give yourself time (and don't give up!
10th - 12th 21st Century Skills 11 Views 10 Downloads
Organic Molecules - The "Stuff" of Life
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.
8th - 12th Science 9 Views 81 Downloads
Polymers-Greaaaaaat Biiiiiig Molecuuuuuules
Students 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. Students role play pretending they are polymer molecules, examine polymer models, and make their own "silly putty".
5th - 7th Science 3 Views 5 Downloads
Playing with Polymers
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.
9th - 12th Science 3 Views 31 Downloads
The Influence of Initiator Concentration on the Molecular Weight of Polystyrene
This in-depth organic chemistry lab walks learners through an investigation of the effect of initiator concentration on the resulting molecular weight of polystyrene. It is important that you use this lesson plan with experienced chemistry learners as they will synthesize polystyrene several times and calculate efflux time and viscosity.
11th - Higher Ed Science 3 Views 2 Downloads
Chemists are stretched to their limits with a polymer lesson. They cut strips from a plastic shopping bag and hang weights from them to discover which holds the most. The also pull Velcro apart in a similar investigation. Thorough background information on polymers and plastics is provided, along with a photograph of the lab setup to make it more clear.
7th - 12th Science 5 Views 11 Downloads
Sorting Plastics For Recycling
First, young chemists practice polymer identification by density and flame tests. With the data collected, they propose a method of separating polyethylene from other plastics and determine what property makes it desirable for recycling. This laboratory activity is ideal when covering polymers in your general chemistry class.
9th - 12th Science 5 Views 28 Downloads
A lively presentation presents general facts and history of nucleic acids in a note-taking format. Every slide contains colorful photos or graphics to illuminate and engage. Biology aces learn about the function and structure of these essential molecules.
9th - 12th Science 23 Views 66 Downloads
Polymers Lab: Bouncy Ball and Slime
Eighth graders investigate chemical reactions to produce polymers. For 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.
8th Science 14 Views 68 Downloads
A Silly Polymer
Students conduct a cross link of a ploymer and observe the changes that occur. These changes would be the physical properties that change and the temperatures would vary. Each group using the cross-linking creates a polymer known as Silly Putty.
11th - Higher Ed Science 3 Views 16 Downloads
Real-World Projects: Challenges from the Polymer Industry
Two scenarios are presented for chemistry detectives to decipher. Both require the use of an infrared spectrometer and focus on the examination of polymer materials. In the first, lumps in polyethylene bottles are analyzed. In the second, two specific brands of plastic food wrap are compared.
9th - 12th Science 5 Views 11 Downloads
Fun with Polymers!
A polymer investigation is on the horizon and here are four separate learning activities to do the job. The resource provides background information for the teacher and a wonderful analogy to help learners understand polymers and plastics. It also provides four activities each with full instructions, images, discussion, and added information.
5th - 8th Science 21 Views 25 Downloads
World of Plastics and Polymers
Students investigate plastics and learn they are giant molecules made of carbon atoms. In this polymers and plastics lesson, students perform 3 activities which all include making polymers from household items such as milk and vinegar, glue and borax and acetone and foam peanuts.
7th - 12th Science 5 Views 46 Downloads
Cross-Linked Polymer Lab
High schoolers use short-chain polymers and borate ions to produce cross-linked polymers in the lab. In this cross-linked polymer lesson plan, students produce polyvinyl acetate slime and polyvinyl alcohol slime and test their physical properties.
9th - 12th Science 4 Views 10 Downloads
Getting Silly with Putty
Introduce polymers to your 4th - 8th graders for the first time. Chemists mix glue with a Borax solution to create a cross-linked polymer and compare its properties to the properties of the original materials. This is a classic activity for teaching polymers to this age group, but the teacher's notes and student activity sheets will really help keep everyone focused.
4th - 8th Science 4 Views 12 Downloads