Polymer Journal #5

Journal #5

Our most successful prototype was the our cornstarch based polymer, the final one that we made. This prototype was made of 4tbs. cornstarch, 5ml starch solution, 8ml PVA solution, and optionally 3 drops of food coloring.

Science Procedures


The most successful prototype was the cornstarch based polymer. This prototype had many physical properties that we were looking for, such as it was moldable and sticky. It also didn’t leave anything behind on your fingers after it was used, a very important property we needed. Finally, this prototype was more sustainable than many of our earlier prototypes. First of all, the product we were making need to mold onto a pencil and stay on it. This is why our polymer being moldable and sticky was so important. Our pencil grip was branded as being different because of how moldable it was, and in several of the other prototypes the polymer couldn’t mold or stretch at all. It also need to be sticky enough to stay on the pencil, but not so sticky that it would stay on your hands when you use it. Earlier prototypes were often not sticky at all, specifically ones that used a lot of Borax, and some prototypes were too sticky, such as the guar gum prototype. The other most important trait of the grip was for the polymer to not leave anything on your hands after using it. Several earlier prototypes, especially guar gum based polymers, left some of the polymer behind. Borax seemed to helped keep the polymer together better. Although some prototypes didn’t leave behind any of the polymer, they often would seem wet and make your hands or the table they were on wet. This also wasn’t good for our polymer, and the cornstarch polymer didn’t leave a residue at all. Finally, the cornstarch polymer was more sustainable than others. Our final prototype was not completely sustainable, because it used PVA solution. Even though it used PVA, it was still better than many other prototypes. Other prototypes were often made using more less sustainable ingredients, such as Borax and PVA Glue. In the end, our final prototype, the cornstarch based polymer, was the most successful prototype.

I think that in this polymer project I did fairly well, but could have improved in many ways. At the beginning when we were studying polymers, I think I should have spent more time on it and tried to learn more about specific base polymers that we would be using later. I think that if I did that at first we wouldn’t have had to do as much trial and error with creating prototypes, and we could have more quickly found the polymer we were looking for. After doing research when we began planning and making the first prototypes, I think we could have done more tests and recorded more information. If we had figured out what certain base polymers added to the polymer earlier on, it would have made modifying and perfecting the later prototypes significantly easier. When we did get to creating the later prototypes, I think mu group and I did everything pretty well. We created polymers following pre-made procedures and modified them where needed. When testing them and identifying their physical properties we did a good amount of testing and recorded all of the information we gathered. After making the polymer was finished, we had the presentation. Our presentation was not good. The cornstarch polymer we talked about got lost, so we just had to show two old prototypes we had that didn’t actually work. Scarlett wasn’t able to be at the practice presentation, so we didn’t even get to practice as a full group and had to fit her in for the final. Also, when giving the actual presentation we made many mistakes and missed topics or mentioned something we shouldn’t have. There are many improvements that should have been made four our presentation. Finally, our sustainability was ok. We made a cornstarch based product, which is sustainable, but we also used PVA. If we had more time to work on this, I would try to find an alternative for PVA that is sustainable.

Polymer Journal #4

My group has gone through several prototypes looking for the right polymer for our product, each of which had its own strengths and weaknesses. The physical properties we were looking for in the polymer were mainly a little bit of stickiness, no residue left after using it, it should be moldable, and hopefully colorable.

The first prototype had a lot of issues, so we didn’t take it very far. This prototype  was based on guar gum, and it didn’t really have any of the properties we wanted. It was very moldable, but not sticky enough for us. It also could be slightly colored, but it wasn’t mixed in well. Finally, the main reason we didn’t use it was after holding it in your hand it would leave a lot on your hands.




The second prototype was much better, but still not what we were looking for. This prototype was very moldable and sticky, but it was actually to sticky. It could be colored (although it’s not colored in the picture) and didn’t leave anything on your hands. We pursued it a little bit further, but found that it was almost too sticky, and wouldn’t come off your hands.

The next prototype was made based on the second prototype, but made to be less sticky and hold its shape slightly better than the previous attempt. This polymer was less sticky, but to the point that it couldn’t stick at all. Also, it held its shape too well as well, and wasn’t very moldable. This prototype wasn’t very successful and we didn’t continue further with it.


The next prototype was much better than those before it. This prototype had all of the qualities we were looking for. It was easily moldable while being able to hold its shape, stretched just enough, had a comfortable texture, didn’t leave a mark, and could be very easily colored. This is the prototype we continued to use and experiment with.

Polymer Journal #3

For our polymer there are several specific physical properties that we want our polymer to include. The first physical property we wanted was we need the substance to be fairly sticky but not too much, so that when it’s put on a pencil it could stick on it but still be able to come off. Second, we wanted it to be moldable. By moldable I mean fairly stretchy so it could wrap around something, and flexible. This is what would allow the grip to be fit to different pencil shapes or sizes. Next, we need the substance to not leave behind a residue when it’s touched. In our earlier prototypes we found that the polymer would stick to your fingers and leave pieces of it on the pencil. It also sometimes would be almost wet, and would leave your hands or fingers wet after using them. These obviously aren’t good qualities for a grip. Finally, although it wasn’t necessary we wanted the polymer to be colorable so that it would be a more appealing product. We’ve been developing our prototypes and are continuing to develop them to give the polymer more of these physical properties were looking for. At first we developed prototypes be completely changing ingredients and base polymers, but as we’ve been getting closer to what we’re looking for the group has instead been developing prototypes by changing the amount of each base polymer we add. Currently we’re trying adding more cornstarch and using much less PVA solution, which so far has led to less residue/wetness left on the hands after using the polymer. We test to see if our changes are working in several ways. First, we just mold the polymer in our hands and stretch it out to see how much it can take. We also try wrapping it around different pencils (mechanical, normal, pens) to test the stickiness of the product. You can easily see if a residue is left just be doing the other tests with the polymer. The final test that we do every class is we either wrap a pencil in the polymer or just place the polymer on the window sill the classroom so that we can see how long the properties last before it dries. So far we are on track to making our product the best it can be and are accomplishing our goals for this project.

This is the current prototype that so far we’ve found shows many of the physical traits we’ve been looking for in the polymer

Polymer Journal #2

Journal #2

For this polymer project my group has been tasked with creating a “product to prevent slippage”. We will be designing a polymer multi-purpose grip. This would be a kind of grip made to be able to wrap around an object of any size so that you would be able to easily hold it as well as making it more comfortable when holding it for long  periods of time. This could wrap around anything from a pencil to a baseball bat. This product would be marketed through the Dream On team towards everyday people such as students who use items like sports rackets or pencils on a daily basis. We have asked some potential target clients what they’re looking for in this kind of product. Sam, a middle school student and baseball player said he wanted a product that gave him a better grip on his bat. Terrence Taylor, a manager at Cummins who has to go through a lot of paperwork daily, said he would like a product that made it more comfortable to hold a pencil for long periods of time. With this feedback we have decided we want this product to solve small annoyances such as dropping a pencil or cramps from holding an uncomfortable item for a long time, as well as making it easier to grip sports equipment and other items. There are many traits that we would like to implement into this product, the first of which being we want a comfortable texture. Our experiments so far have lead us to believe that Guar Gum is effective at getting the kind of texture we’re looking for. We also have found that many polymers leave a residue on your hand, and have found that Borax helps stop the polymer from leaving a residue behind. Finally, we need the product to be sticky enough but not to sticky. My team and I are still looking for the right base polymer to give us the right level of stickiness. We will continue to test and modify our product in order to best appeal to our target audience and make the best polymer product possible.

Polymers Journal Entry #1

Polymers are substances or large molecules made of many repeated subunits in a chain. They are made of many small identical molecules being joined together to make the larger polymer. The word polymer comes from poly, which means many in Greek. Polymers can have all different kinds of properties based on what they’re made from. This has allowed them to be used for all kinds of different products that we use now. Polymers are all around, making up things like plastic and rubber. These polymers are synthetic polymers, which means that they are made, but some polymers are natural. These are called natural polymers. Natural polymers include things like wood. Natural polymers also include proteins, which are made from chains of amino acids. DNA and RNA are also polymers made from the nitrogen bases. Although natural polymers are found in the world, synthetic polymers are created. The way synthetic polymers are made is through a process called polymerization. Smaller molecules are put together into a chain. After that, through a chemical reaction the smaller molecules are bonded, and a polymer is created. In class we’re making polymers using polyvinyl alcohol and Borax. Polyvinyl alcohol, or PVA, is the starting material. It is a kind of thick liquid made of a long chain of carbon. When Borax is added to PVA, the carbon chains are combined, or linked, making a much less liquid substance, but it’s still not a solid. This new substance can change shape to fit something like a beaker, much like a liquid, but it also can hold its own form when left alone, like a solid. This new PVA and Borax substance is a polymer because it’s larger molecules made up of repeated smaller molecules in a chain.

Work Cited

Perkins, Sid. “Explainer: What Are Polymers?” Science News for Students, 13 Oct. 2017, www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/explainer-what-are-polymers.

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

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

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


Where In Our Solar System Should NASA Focus Future Missions?

NASA should focus future missions on investigating comets, specifically the 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This mission would be a CAESAR mission, or a Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return. NASA would send a robot out to the 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet which would collect samples of the surface of the asteroid and come back to Earth. It would return in November 2038.

Steve Squyres, a researcher at Cornell University said, “Comets are the scientifically important objects in the solar system,”. This is because comets have been around as long as our sun. Comets contain materials and molecules that are older than life. These include water, organic molecules, and several other gasses and chemicals. NASA has collected a comets coma before, but this would be the first mission to return any material from a comets surface.

If NASA collected these molecules from the comet, we would be able to learn incredibly more about life on Earth and its history. These comets may have contributed water and organic molecules to early Earth, from when the first single cell creatures were emerging. Although it would be difficult to collect these, as they easily turn into gas, scientists would be able to learn wonders about the origin of life and our planet.

How Big is the Solar System?

The universe is enormous. Everyone knows that, but it’s hard for everyone to realize just how enormous it is. Our galaxy is one of hundreds of thousands, our sun is one of millions, and our planet is one of billions!

The Milky Way, our galaxy  is hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Pluto the furthest planet from the sun, is 3.6 billion miles away from the sun! The closest planet to the sun, Mercury, is only 35 million away comparatively. There are two sections of planets in our Solar System. The inner planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. The outer planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. In between them is a gap of over 580 km, and an asteroid belt. The planets also have massive varying sizes. The smallest planet, Pluto, has a diameter of 1477 miles, while the largest, Jupiter, is 86881 miles. That’s still not even close to the size of the sun, though. The sun has a radius of over 695,000 km, and a mass of 1.989 × 10^30 kg

Overall, our solar system is massive. And the sun is even larger. The solar system’s size is almost incomprehensible its so big. Just try to imagine the universe

Most Important Image of All Time

Option 1.

Do you agree or disagree?

I agree that this is one of the most important images of all time in regards to astronomy and learning about the size of the universe. This image shows us just how big the universe is, and how relatively small humans, the sun, and even the Milky Way are. This image shows us just how much there is to explore out there. How much there is for us to discover. There are millions of planets, all different shapes and sizes, and even more stars, many even bigger than out sun! This image also represents an image taken of something millions of lightyears away. Just having technology that can take an image like that is amazing! By showing us how big the universe is and how much there is out in space, this picture also encourages people and groups like NASA and SpaceX to keep making advancements and great leaps in space travel technology. Overall, I agree that this is one of if not the most important image of all time relative to astronomy and space technology.

 What other images would maybe fall into this category? Why?

I think other images that would fall into the category of most important images in terms of astronomy would be Neil Armstrong on the moon, The Soviet’s images of the dark side of the moon, and images that show an important historical event. I believe this because these images show the progression of mankind in space travel, and how far we’ve come now compared to before. These images will also be there for people in the future to look back on how much they’ve done then. People may be living on mars sitting on a red beach in an artificial dome powered by a Dyson Sphere, and they’ll be able to look back at the first man who ever travelled into space! I think the most important images of all time are images that mark historical events in space travel.

Protein Synthesis Story

Reflection: My protein synthesis story showed overall understanding of the subject and protein synthesis, but it was not a creative format and didn’t meet the standards for using scientific language. My protein story showed all the steps of DNA to proteins, and explained the use of Insulin. However, the format I used was a comic strip, and it didn’t have well made or thought out characters or a allegory. Overall, I think I could improve my story by adding an allegory and using more scientific language.