March Science Starter

Science Starters at Home
From: Terry Green,
Science Enrichment Teacher,
Polymer Science
A polymer is a substance made out of many smaller unit, called monomers. How the
monomers are put together determines the properties of the polymer. Some polymers are
stretchy (such as rubber), some are tough (such as nylon), some absorb liquids (such as
the polymers in diapers), some are man made while others occur naturally in nature.
Polymers are important substances in every day life.
Try this at home
Explore the holding power of diapers
Baby diapers
Newspapers or plastic containers to hold the mess
1. Try pouring some water into a diaper. See how many cups it will hold before it
2. Tear open the diaper and pull out the material inside holding the water (it is the
polymer). Explore the polymer. Put it in a bin and let it sit overnight. What has
happened to the material? Let it sit for a few more days and see what happens.
Caution: Adult supervision is recommended.
Want More?
Internet Links:
Chemistry behind Polymers
Check out these books:
Literature Connection:
Change It!: Solids, Liquids, Gases and You (Primary Physical Science), by Adrienne
Mason , Kids Can Press, 2006.
What Is the World Made Of? All About Solids, Liquids, and Gases (Let's-Read-andFind-Out Science, Stage 2), Kathleen Weidnet Zoehfeld, Collins, 1998.
Plastics and Polymers Science Fair Projects (Chemistry Science Projects Using the
Scientific Method)by Madeline P. Goodstein, Enslow Publishers, 2010.
Internet Sources Used for this Science Starter: