Polymers that save l.. - Oklahoma State University

Polymers that save lives: Fire prevention and fire fighting.
A multimedia polymer education project funded by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus
Larry Scheich, St. Norbert College, Patricia DePra, Westfield State College, Robert
Badger, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, Lon Mathias, University of Southern
Mississippi, Jeff Seyler, University of Southern Indiana
This multimedia education project is designed to increase awareness of fire prevention
and fire safety with concepts in polymer science and chemistry. Our hope is that
students and their communities gain a deeper appreciation for science in general, as well
as for the scientific advances in polymer science that make our lives safer and more
enjoyable. The project provides background information, activities, and teachers notes
(available at www.pslc.ws/fire). Topics include: how and why things burn, some uses of
fire, why polymers burn differently, polymers that just don’t burn, how to keep polymers
from burning, health hazards of fire, measuring flammability, fighting fires with
polymers and flames in space. Embedded conceptual information includes the chemistry
of combustion and incomplete combustion, heats of combustion, the structure of
cellulose, and polymer chemistry. Detailed Teachers’ Notes including safety
information, how each module fulfills the National Science Education Standards,
extensions of the activities, and references are also provided. Videos of hazardous
demonstrations offer a safe alternative for classroom use