Polymer Journal #4

(Pros and cons for each polymer is in journal #3)

Prototype Stretch Firmness Stickiness Grip Moldability Picture
Goal low high high comfortable Low
# 1 low high low Disgusting low
# 2 medium medium high okay Medium
# 3 low medium low okay Low
# 4 medium high low comfortable Low
# 5 low high low disgusting low
# 6 low low high disgusting high
# 7 low high low okay Low
# 8 medium medium low comfortable low
# 9 high low high liquid high




Polymer Journal #3

We wanted to make polymer that acts as the back side of the phone case, so it should be comfortable to hold and convenient to use. That’s why we want our polymer to have the following physical properties:

Low stretch – A phone case shouldn’t soft and stretchy. We can test it just by stretching it.

Firm – In order for the polymer to protect the phone. Also, no one wants to use a case that’s soft and slimy. we can test by feel if it’s firm.

Sticky (only to flat surfaces) – Our whole purpose was to make a phone case that can stick. We can test it by sticking it onto a wall, see if it’s easily attached or removed.

Not moldable – We don’t want the polymer to easily take shape, because it would be really annoying for the user to adjust it every minute if it’s blocking the charger port, camera, etc. We can test this by trying to roll it into a ball.

Not sticky to hand – We only want it to be sticky to walls and tables, because sticking on to hand would be very inconvenient for the user. We will test this by holding on to the polymer for 15 seconds, and then removing it. See if it’s easily removed, and if there are any left overs on hand.

Rubbery – This is just a optional physical property we hope our polymer would have, so it improves the grip and feel of the case.


From what I said before in Journal #2, we decided to use gloop as our base polymer, and modify it to fit our goal.

Prorotype #1: We planned to add 3g of guar gum to thicken the gloop and additionally add some rubbery properties, and 5g of PVA glue to make the gloop more sticky. (We also added 5g of borax, I think we were just being dumb. There wasn’t a reason since it decreases the stickiness) The polymer didn’t stick to anything; it was probably because of the borax we added randomly.

Prototype #2: We did the same thing except that we took out the borax. The gloop has gotten much more sticky and the grip was much more comfortable, but also, without borax to decrease the stretch, our polymer was more moldable and stretchy (we want to change that).

*We took the prototype out of the bag after a week, that’s when we were done with prototype 4. It worked really well, since some of the liquid was probably dried up through out the week, so it was sticky and thick. We stuck our phone on it and placed it on the wall, and it did stick. This was probably our best prototype yet, however, it looked bad and the grip wasn’t that good. 

Prototype #3: We wanted to make the next one thicker, so we took out guar gum and put in 2g of solid corn starch which thickens the polymer. Our goal was achieved, the new polymer had very low moldability and stretch. But again, it wasn’t sticky enough.



Prototype #4: We thought the stick was decreased because it was way too thick and solid, so we 4g of water. (we added 4g of borax again, so stupid) The water made the polymer more stretchy but did nothing to the stickiness.




Prototype #5:

After Ms. Lemly came in and told us about the environmental issues of some of the materials we used, we decided to try using only the environmentally safe materials — water, guar gum, and solid corn starch.

Prototype #6: For this prototype, used 40ml of white glue, 7g of corn starch, and 3g of guar gum. With too much glue and less material to thicken the polymer, it turned out to be too sticky and watery.

Polymer Journal #1

  1. What are polymers and how are they made? 

A polymer is a substance that is composed of many simple molecules bonded together called monomers (in other words, it’s when many molecules of a simple compound joined together). A single polymer molecule might consist of hundreds to millions of monomers and may have a linear, branched, or network structure. The amount of monomers in a polymer determines the so called degree of polymerization. When there’s a large amount of monomers in a polymer, it tends to have a high degree of polymerization and it’s called a high polymer.  

There are two ways a polymer can be created: 

  • Condensation polymerization reaction – A polymer is created, but also a small molecule is eliminated or lost.  
  • Addition polymerization – When two or more molecules joins together to form a single product. 

PVA Borax Polymer 

PVA solution can be made into a slime by adding borax. PVA is already a polymer, and in this case, it is providing back bone for the atoms that will be joined. When they are mixed, the chains of atoms becomes linked together. As a result, the new substance becomes more solid.  


Synthetic Materials

2. Synthetic materials are artificial materials made from different substances through polymerization. Synthetic materials are manmade and are not produced in the wild.

Two examples of synthetic material are rayon and polyester:

  • Polyester derives coal, air, water, and petroleum. The fibers of polyester are made during a chemical reaction between acid and alcohol. In the reaction, multiple molecules combine to form a larger molecule which will stand as the basis for polyester. The molecules are extremely strong and stable, making polyester non-absorbent and stretch resistant.
  • Rayon is comprised wood pulp or cotton. The chemical reaction for rayon to form is when cellulose, an organic compound found in wood pulp or cotton is extracted to form white sheets of pure cellulose. The sheets are then put in to sodium hydroxide. The sheets are then shredded and dried out to crumbs and are left in metal containers for a couple of days. It is then mixed with liquid carbon disulfide to make viscose solution which is then spun to yarn. 

3. Citations

“Unsafe Slime? How Bad Is Borax, Really?” The Chronicle Flask, 28 Dec. 2018, chronicleflask.com/2017/08/07/slime-safety/.

“Rayon.” How Products Are Made, www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Rayon.html.

“Polyester.” How Products Are Made, www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Polyester.html.

Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., kids.britannica.com/students/article/polymer/276496.

The potential risks of negative body image and low self esteem

People with negative body image will very likely have low self esteem, maybe due to comparing themselves to others or getting criticized. Of course people will want others to be impressed by their appearance, so some decided to use unhealthy methods to fix it. For example, teens might go on a fad diet. It’s a meal plan thats usually about 10 days that cuts out approximately 10 pounds. This sounds really attractive to someone who is desperate on losing weight and having a better appearance, but this is a common misconception. These fad diets only work for short terms, since almost no fat is lost, only water. So the weight will come back faster than it was lost, and there will be much more long term side effects than the short term benefits. A way to stay healthy and lose weight is just to exercise. You can lose fat while gaining more muscle and getting fit.

How do you check if a website is reliable?

One way to check if a website is reliable is through a crap test. A crap tests checks the Currency, Relevance, Authority, and Purpose of the website. The currency checks if the information is up to date; the relevance checks the usefulness of the information; Authority is looking at the source, and Purpose of why this information exists.

The Pale Blue Dot or the Hubble Deep Field?

I think the Hubble Deep Field has more impact on me, since it really helped me understand how huge the space actually is. The photo shows thousands of galaxies, which contains millions of stars, which probably has planets orbiting around them. This makes me think that there should definitely be aliens out there. Billions and billions of planets are in space, and we can only see a tiny piece of it. It also makes me think how tiny our planet and galaxy is. Even a tiny speck on the picture is millions times bigger than our earth.

We’re takers who never give

In the future, the world we destroyed will be masked with a thick layer of polluted air, overflowing with the hideous and revolting smell of garbage.

They will find us,

buried beside countless plastic bags, tin cans, and cigarettes that we made, as mother nature twitched in pain.


In the future, the world we destroyed has no sign of life. Clear lakes where fish swam is now brimming with toxic.

Plain fields where lions chased after their prey are now crowded with dead bodies, rotten and corrupted.

And they will find us,

buried beneath piles of hornless rhinos and toothless elephants, whose lives we greedily took away.


In the future, they will find us and think, “They’re not intelligent at all. They’re takers, and they never give.”

Just Lather That’s All

“And so, which will it be? Murderer or hero? My fate hangs on the edge of this razor blade” (4, Tellez). The protagonist, a barber, is secretly revolutionary, and one day, his enemy came to be shaved. The barber is struggling to decide whether to kill him or not.
In Hernando Tellezs’ ‘Just Lather That’s All’, our dynamic character’s, the barber, thoughts on whether to kill the captain or not changed throughout the story.

At the beginning of the story, the barber was thinking about killing the captain. “’And it would be so easy to kill him. He deserves it’” (3). He thought about killing Torres because Torres is an executioner, and he had sent countless people to their death. The barber is secretly a revolutionary, and Torres was his enemy, but why didn’t the barber decide not to kill him?

Even though the barber wanted to kill the captain at first, he changed over the course of the story and chose not to after thinking about the consequences: “But I don’t want to be a murderer. No, sir. You came in to be shaved” (4). This shows that the barber thought about killing, but second thoughts, he doesn’t want blood on his hands. Also, even if the barber kills Torres, what will he gain? Nothing.

In conclusion, “No one deserves the sacrifice others make in becoming assassins” (3), and nothing would be gained if you murder. The first to murder dies from the hands of the second, and the second would be killed by the third, and the world will eventually be filled with blood.