Publication Date



Includes instructions for classroom experiments.


This presentation is designed to introduce K-12 students to polymer science with the primary aims of establishing a strong foundation in the physical sciences and inspiring students to pursue degrees and careers in STEM-related fields. Examples of natural polymers (e.g., DNA and RNA) and polymers in common materials (e.g., contact lenses, bulletproof glass, composite airplanes, etc.) are presented to demonstrate their importance to our daily lives. The presentation conveys the interdisciplinary nature of polymer science through hands-on experiments and discussion focused on concepts related to polymer chemistry (i.e., gelation and superabsorbent materials), engineering (i.e., injection molding and 3D printing), and physics (i.e., viscoelasticity and phase transitions). The depth of the presentation is modified to fit students’ backgrounds in science to ensure information is efficiently translated at the appropriate grade level. Through the combination of visual presentation and classroom-friendly experiments, students gain an understanding of polymer science and its importance to modern and future technologies

PSE procedures.docx (17 kB)
Classroom experiments