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View Resource Property Differences in Polymers: Happy/Sad Balls

This learning activity shows how "differences in composition can drastically affect the properties of balls that look identical." Balls that appear the same but are composed of different materials will be bounced. Since they are made of different materials, students will observe a difference in the way they bounce. This activity would be suitable for middle school through college level...

View Resource Composite Materials: Sticks and Glue

This learning activity will provide a good example of "the effect on strength and stiffness of a material when it is manufactured as a composite." Popsicle sticks will be used to demonstrate the difference between singular materials and composite materials. Students will be able to see the added benefits of using composite materials. This activity would be suitable for elementary school...

View Resource Properties of Fibers and Fabrics

This learning activity tests the strength of fibers and fabrics: specifically, threads, string and yarn made from a variety of materials. The experiment will demonstrate the particular properties of different fibers and fabrics and the differences between natural and synthetic fibers. This activity would be suitable for high school and introductory college undergraduate students. The lesson...

View Resource The Odd Behavior of Rubber Bands

This learning activity will help students understand the particular structure of rubber: they will observe how rubber bands behave when stretched and contracted, as well as the effects of temperature and stretching on the rubber. The activity will help to illustrate the fact that rubber is made of long, loose, twisted chain molecules. This activity would be suitable for high school or college...

View Resource Plastic Stretch

This learning activity will be helpful for students learning about plastic deformation. Specifically, the exercise looks at plastic deformation in polyethylene, which is found in plastic sheets, bags and other common items. Students will participate in plastic deformation of a polymer, observe "necking" in the material and its effect on strength and relate the behavior of the sample to...

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