Thursday, December 1, 2011

Polymer Scavenger Hunt

Polymer Basics     Name ___________________________

Use the sites on the Matter & Atoms page of the Kid Zone at to complete this worksheet.

Site #1: HandsOn Plastics
1. Plastics are polymers, which is something made of many units similar to a chain. Each
link in the chain is the “mer” or basic unit usually made out of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen,
and/or silicon.  To make the chain, many links or units are hooked or polymerized together.

2. Many common classes of polymers are composed of hydrocarbons, which contain the elements
carbon and hydrogen. List seven elements that are also found in polymers: oxygen, chlorine,
fluorine, nitrogen, silicon, phosphorous, and sulfer.

3. What is one of the most famous silicon-based polymers? Silly Putty

4.  What are the general attributes (properties) of polymers?
A. Polymers can be very resistant to chemicals.
B. Polymers can be both thermal and electrical insulators.
C. Polymers are very light in mass with varying degrees of strength.
D. Polymers can be processed in various ways to produce thin fibers or very intricate parts.

5. What percentage of our trash are plastics? 9.9%

6. What does WTE mean? Waste-to-energy What are two benefits of WTE? Plastics set off heat energy to burn wet trash and it can be converted to electrical energy
1 – We can use plastics that cannot be recycled.
2 – Incineration of polymers produces heat energy.

Site #2:  History of Plastics
Read the information on this page to help you complete this section. Fill in the blanks with the year it was first
produced and the last name(s) of the person credited with the discovery/development. Use the information to list the
substances with dates from the oldest to the most recent in the box.

Rayon – Developed in 1910 by Georges Audemars
Silly Putty - Developed in 1943 by James Wright
Cellophane - Discovered in 1908 by Jacques E Brandenburger
Parkesine - Discovered in 1862 by Alexander Parkes
Nylon - Developed in 1935 by Harris
Bakelite - Developed in 1907 by Leo Baekeland
Velcro - Developed in 1948 by George De Mestral
Saran - Discovered in 1933 by Ralph Wiley  
PVC (Vinyl) – Developed in 1926 by Walter Semon
Polyethylene – Developed in 1933 by Reginald Gibson & Eric Fawcett
Teflon – Discovered in 1938 by Roy Plunkett
Celluoid - Developed in 1868 by John Wesley Hyatt

Plastics Timeline
Oldest to Most Recent

1 Parkesine
2 Celluoid
3 Bakelite
4 Cellophane
5 Rayon
7 Saran
8 Polyethylene
9 Nylon
10 Teflon
11 Silly Putty
12 Velcro

Site #3:  Polymers – They’re Everywhere

1.  Click the “What are Polymers” link at the bottom of the screen and answer these questions.
A.  Polymers are tiny molecules strung in long repeating chain.
B. What are three polymers found in our bodies?  DNA, proteins, and starches

2. Click the link for “In Nature” and use your mouse to find eight polymers in the picture.  List them below.  
Amber   silk   turtle’s shell   cow’s milk   animal horns   lac   rosin

3. Click the link for “At Home” to learn about polymers that can be found around our homes.  Use your mouse to find
eight polymers and list them below.  
Bakelite   polyethylene  polystyrene  neoprene  acrylics  rubber  vinyl  vulcanized rubber  

4. Click the “Recycling” link and use your mouse to find eleven items made from recycled polymers in the park.  For
each item listed below, write down what it was used to make after being recycled.  The number of blanks indicates the
number of items for each polymer.
Peanut butter jar 􏰁 sweatshirt and tote bag
Foam cup􏰁 insulated jacket and concrete
Bread  bag 􏰁 trash can and landscape timber
Milk jug􏰁 dog house, picnic table, and plastic fence
Sandwich box 􏰁 playground equipment and flying frisbee

Site #4 – Polymer Flash Activities

1. Click the link to make a virtual polymer and choose polyethylene.
A. What type of monomer is used to make this polymer? Ethylene
B. What elements and how many of each is in one of these monomers?
 C = Carbon  # -2  H = Hydrogen # -4
C. What starts the process? Initiator

2. Click the link to try the matching games.  Record your times or scores in the blanks below.
A. Breakfast Game– 1st Try = 9497  2nd Try = 9298 3rd Try = 9401
B. Polymer Game - – 1st Try = 9427  2nd Try = 9545 3rd Try = 9353

No comments:

Post a Comment