Macromolecular Products-Gelfand - Carnegie Mellon University

Macromolecular Products

Experiments with Polymers

Annette M. Jacobson, Rosemary Frollini and Susana Steppan
Department of Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Program Outreach Project

© 2009 Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Program Outreach Project

Department of Chemical Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University

All rights reserved.

Permission is given for individual teachers to reproduce experiments for individual classroom use only. Reproduction of these materials by any means for an entire school system requires written permission.

The content of this website is meant to be used to familiarize the science educator with the concept of a polymer (macromolecule), the unusual properties of polymers, and to make them aware of the usefulness of these materials which are found in many products we use in our everyday lives. The information and activities provided show how scientists and engineers work together to create new products and processes using new materials discovered through chemistry.

The information and hands-on activities provided on this website focus on polymeric materials that are nontoxic and aqueous (water-based). They can be used by educators to supplement grade levels 1-12. Younger students may need to have the directions given orally. Adult assistance during the experiments is highly recommended. For high school students, the information given here can be augmented by providing additional materials dealing with the chemistry of specific polymers and how they are manufactured.

These particular exercises are useful because they provide the opportunity for students to follow directions, to conduct their own experiments, and to observe the results first hand. The hands-on nature of the activities has been proven to aid in engaging the student's attention and in retaining the information provided. In addition, the non-toxic nature of these materials makes it safe for the students to handle the products they make.

Students should wear safety glasses or goggles at all times while performing experiments. While materials used in experiments may be handled, they are never to be eaten, or placed near the eyes. The lab safety rules provided are to be distributed to the students before starting any of the experiments.

Lab Safety Rules



We are continuing to work on this website and are very interested in hearing your comments and/or questions. Please provide any feedback to Dr. Steppan at ssteppan@andrew.cmu.edu.

SHORT DISCLAIMER:

© 2009 Carnegie Mellon University. All Rights Reserved.
THE MATERIALS AND INFORMATION MADE AVAILABLE ON THIS SITE (THE "MATERIALS") MAY BE USED BY TEACHERS ON AN "AS-IS" "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. TEACHERS MAY COPY AND/OR USE THESE MATERIALS ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR NON-COMMERCIAL CLASSROOM TEACHING ACTIVITIES AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING ALL NECESSARY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR THE EXPERIMENTS. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT ALLOWED UNDER LAW, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CLAIMS, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THE MATERIALS. BY VIEWING, COPYING AND/OR USING THESE MATERIALS, YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND AGREE TO THE TERMS OF USE BELOW. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THE TERMS, YOU MAY NOT USE THE MATERIALS.
Read the Full Terms of Use.