June 2nd, 2016

Photo Essay

May 18th, 2016

Design Journal #4

May 9th, 2016

At the beginning of the project, my partner and I knew we wanted to make a polymer that was effective and useful to people in the real world. We had many ideas. To organize our thoughts we jotted down lists, notes, and observations. This was how we started to define our ideas. That led to my partner and I coming up with the idea of a keyboard cleaner.

If we could develop a polymer that had characteristics that included stretchiness, stickiness, and reusability, we would have the perfect polymer for this product. The trouble was figuring out how to make it. When we started observing the basic polymers, our attention immediately turned to super slime. It then took us almost a whole class before we realized that super slime wasn’t sticky enough.

During the next class, we figured out that we needed white glue as our base. It made the polymer sticky, easily stretchable, and dense. This experience taught us that just because something is your first idea, it isn’t necessarily the best idea.

My partner and I then tried different methods to make the polymer, but in the end decided that white glue and liquid starch made the best combination.

During the “Dream On” presentation day, my partner and I learned from the different polymers and presentations that simple ingredients – and a lot of work – can make unique and exceptional creations.Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 4.47.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-15 at 4.48.10 PM Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 4.48.38 PM

Yunnan Province

May 9th, 2016


My PowerPoint discusses Yunnan province, its environment, culture, traveling conditions and difficulties. From the mountainous areas to the beautiful valleys, Yunnan really is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even though there are difficulties, the positive aspects definitely out way the negatives.

Design Journal #3

May 2nd, 2016

The Results:

Polymers Stretchiness Washable Stickiness Total Score
Method 1 4 3 4 11
Method 2 3 2 2 6

Last class, my partner and I had the chance to test each of our methods. We tested them to determine how stretchy, washable, and sticky each polymer was on a scale of 1 to 5. (The highest total score each polymer could get was 15.) We recorded the data and found that method #1 had a higher score than method #2. Before making a final decision on our prototype, we made a strengths and limitations list of each polymer. My partner and I did this to see if we could change any of the ingredients to make a more sufficient prototype.

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After making the list, we decided that method #1 was the best option. But we still wanted to see if we could improve the prototype. We saw that one of the biggest problems with method #1 is that the polymer is quite dense and doesn’t spread out as much as we would like. To change this, we decided to try and limit the amount of glue we put in the polymer by ½ cm, instead of 1 cm. Sadly, we found the consistency was too liquidy and was not sticky enough.

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As you can see the polymer is more of a liquid than a solid.


Some observations that helped my partner and I officially decide that method #1 without any alterations was the best choice for our prototype were included in our tests. We tested each method by running the polymer under cold water, seeing how well it could stick to an ordinary marker, and how for it could stretch without breaking. Our observations, which we recorded, were that method #1 did not leave reside when it stuck to the marker. We also found that it also held the marker for a long period of time. It stretched for about 30 cm and washed off dirt when rinsed under cold water. Also, when it ran under water the polymer got slimy and less sticky. It re-formed its old consistency when being kneaded for about 3 minutes.


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Method #2




By observing the photos you can see that method #1

is much more flexible than method #2.

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Method #1





These observations helped us to determine that method #1, without any alterations, is the perfect prototype for our presentation.

China’s Environmental Challenge

April 25th, 2016

The Communist Party is continuously industrializing China, driven by a growing population that is constantly in need of more energy. The most readily available and cheapest source of energy is coal. It also is the dirtiest source. The big price that comes with using coal is pollution. Smog has made cancer China’s leading cause of death. Children are killed or sickened by lead poisoning or other types of local pollution.

Separately, nearly 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water, mainly in the north. Chinese leaders have responded by undertaking an engineering project, a $60 billion network of canals, rivers and lakes to transport water from the flood-prone Yangtze River to the silt-choked Yellow River.

While China has come to rely on energy-intensive heavy industry and urbanization to fuel economic growth, it has been equally determined to oppose individuals and groups who question their choices.

Environmentalists, private individuals and non-government organization that expose pollution and press local government officials to enforce environmental laws cannot cross those boundaries without risk. Sadly, it is said that China’s pollution is only to get worse from here.


Polymer Journal #2

April 25th, 2016

My partner and I wanted different aspects from each polymer in our prototype. Some basic characteristics we wanted included: stickiness that does not leave residue, a substance that can be washed, and a substance that can spread out without breaking. We didn’t want something very slimy, but we did want the polymer to spread out quickly. Another aspect we considered was how stretchy the polymer needed to be in order to cover a whole keyboard. We concluded that the two best polymers to experiment with were gloop and super slime. Sadly, boogers were just too sticky and slimy. After discussing the features we wanted, we then looked back at the original polymers we made. In the process of doing so, some ingredients stood out. These ingredients included laundry starch, glue, borax solution, and PVA solution.


Method #1 –

Materials List:

  • Materials List:
  • 1 graduated cylinder
  • 1 beaker
  • 10mL of laundry starch
  • 1 centimeter of glue


  1. With the graduated cylinder, measure out 10mL of laundry starch.
  2. Fill the beaker with ½ a centimeter of glue. (Measure with ruler)
  3. Pour the 10mL of laundry starch into the beaker.
  4. Mix well for 2-3 minutes.
  5. After a few minutes start to knead until the polymer becomes a smooth solid.


Method #2 –

Materials List:

  • 2 graduated cylinders
  • 1 beaker
  • 20mL of borax solution
  • 20mL of PVA solution
  • 1 cm of glue


  1. With the graduated cylinder, measure out 20mL of borax solution.
  2. With another graduated cylinder, measure out 20mL of PVA solution.
  3. Fill the beaker with 1 cm of glue (Measure with ruler)
  4. Pour the borax solution and PVA solution into the beaker.
  5. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed together into a solid substance.


To test which prototype is most effective, my partner and I will exam the polymer a number of things. We will grade how stretchy, sticky, and washable each polymer is from 1 to 5. Depending on the results, we will use the prototype that has the highest rating over all.

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<——- Basic Polymer Tests


Polymer Journal #1

April 24th, 2016

For the first day of the polymer project, my partner and I came up with an idea and goal for the assignment. After some discussion, we decided to try and develop a keyboard cleaner made from a polymer. We hope to sell these to children and teenagers who need to keep their electronics clean and still have a blast with a fun polymer. The keyboard cleaner will be stretchy and fit around the keyboard. It also has to be sticky to pick up all of the dirt and crumbs left on the electronic keyboard. Lastly, we will try and make the polymer washable so it can be reused. In the process of making the product, we will need to test it and make sure it does not leave residue. This task may tricky because we want the product to still be somewhat sticky in order to clean a keyboard. To find the ingredients to put in the polymer, my partner and I will need to experiment with the different polymers we made: gloop, boogers, and super slime. All the polymers have worked with have qualities we want in our product. We hope to do a little more trial and error with ingredients and find the perfect polymer.

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<——- Our idea (visually)

Introductions To The Polymer Design Journal

April 24th, 2016

In class my partner and I researched and experimented with polymers. I found out that a polymer is a very large molecule made of a chain of many smaller molecules bonded together. I then looked into the different types of polymers, synthetic and natural, and how they impact the world. After some background research on polymers, my partner and I made some.

The three polymers we made were: gloop, boogers, and super slime. Each polymer had various similarities and differences. We first made boogers, which were sticky and slimy. They were different from the gloop and super slime we made, as they were both very rubbery and glossy. All the polymers were somewhat stretchable and made out of different ingredients. The ingredients include: borax solution, liquid glue, PVA solution, and laundry starch.  Photo on 4-19-16 at 3.12 PMPhoto on 4-19-16 at 3.12 PM #2polymer-chemistry

Comparing and Contrasting: Russia and Iceland

April 21st, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 3.03.58 PM

“Plant Pots & Pebble Storms” and “Iceland Volcano” are both articles describing the author’s visit to a remote and remarkable volcano, the first in Russia and the other in Iceland. While both authors are unquestionably enthusiastic about the adventures they are undertaking, the volcanoes that they visit are remarkably different. The Russian volcano, called Klyuchevskaya Sopka, is the tallest active volcano in Eurasia. It’s located in a remote and hostile place, close to the Pacific Ocean, so there are fierce winds that carry pebbles in fierce storms. The volcano face is steep and difficult to climb. The Icelandic volcano, called Thrihnukagigur, is located in a more friendly location, about 30 minutes outside the city Reykjavic. When Thrihnukagigur last erupted it left a gaping cone that has become a tourist attraction. The author descends into the volcano on a cable car and witnesses a magnificent chamber of volcanic rock formations.

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