Making and Modeling Polymers Kit


Making and Modeling Polymers
A substance has characteristic properties
Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances with different
chemical properties
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

Every day, students use numerous products made of plastic. This kit introduces the structures and properties
of the polymer molecules that make up all plastics.
Students first investigate the properties of the linear polymer found in white glue, and then add a cross-linker
to explore the properties of the resulting cross-linked polymer. They then use paper clip models to investigate
the molecular structures of monomers, polymers, and cross-linked polymers, and explore how their structural differences
alter the properties of the molecules.
Contents List

32 Student Worksheets and Guides
32 Data Charts: Some Common plastics and Synthetic Fibers
1 Teachers Guide with MSDS
2 120-mL bottles of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)
2 30-rnL bottles of 4% sodium borate solution
1 15-mL bottle of blue food coloring
16 3.25-oz. clear plastic cups
16 stir sticks
32 graduated cups
384 paper clips (all the same size)
48 colored paperclips
8 60-mL wide-mouth bottles.

Making and Modeling Polymers Kit
Making and Modeling Polymers Kit