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Making and Modeling Polymers

Kit #706S

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 a 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.

Details at a Glance

  • 1-2 Days | 1-2 ~50 minute class periods
  • 2 Activities
  • Accommodates 1 class, with 8 groups of 4 students
  • Consumables service 32 students
  • Meets our criteria for supporting literacy
  • Developed in partnership with SEPUP

Complete Kit Equipment Package

Making and Modeling Polymers (Developed by SEPUP)

Need to Extend Your Kit Materials?

Scientific Concepts

  • 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

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Kit Components

  • 1 Teacher’s Manual with MSDS
  • 32 Student Worksheets and Guides
  • 32 Data Charts: Some common plastics and synthetic fibers
  • 2 120-mL bottles of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)
  • 2 30-mL 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

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