- Listing Type: Summer Programs
- Program Delivery: Online
- Session Start: June
- Session Length: One Week
- Entering Grade: 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
- Gender: Coed
- Category: STEM
- Sub-Categories: Chemistry
- Selective: No
- Ages: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
- Minimum Cost: $500 - $1,499
In this program, students will synthesize and explore the properties of polymers ranging from the fun, silly putty to those life-saving applications for medicine. This one-week summer program is designed for teens interested in materials science & chemistry.
Polymer Chemistry is a part of the new emerging field of Materials Science. The instructor holds an advanced degree in the area from one of the top materials chemistry programs in the country and is an award-winning teacher. Many of the top STEM innovators in the future will rely on utilizing breakthrough materials and polymer chemists will be at the forefront of this new, high-paying field.
What are polymers? Polymers include: Nylon, Plastics, Acrylics, Bakelite, Silly Putty, Styrofoam, Kids Slime, Sugar Crystals, Wood, and even DNA.
What are polymers used for? Polymers are used in: Packaging, Containers, Insulation, Electric Cable Insulators, Clothing, Furniture, Vinyl Flooring, Adhesives, Laminating Sheets, Jeweler, CDs, and they have some medical uses.
Materials Science is a new exciting field that encompasses polymer chemistry and plastics engineering of materials to synthesize and to create custom or brand new materials with specific products for specific uses. Materials scientists make products, coatings, superconductive materials, fuel cells, and integrated circuit chips. Particularly exciting are medical applications: scientists are designing materials that interface with human tissue for medical device implants and prosthetic limbs, and even adhesives that can be used as glue for eye injuries.
The students learned a ton last year! They studied condensation and addition polymerization, vulcanization, thermosetting, and thermoplasticity. The students made polyurethane, nylon, gluep, Oobleck, and encapsulated metals in sodium alginate. They studied polarized light and how it interacts with polymer materials. The class had a guest speaker from Aramco, who discussed how polymer membranes work and shared his cutting-edge work on water purification. The students also spoke with two professors from Tufts, and one professor from MIT. The class asked good questions and learned about research. They studied big companies that produce polymers, and even went over how composites are formed! The students can explain several ways of forming polymers (even from milk!)
Cost and Session Information
Session 1: June 21-25, 2021
Dana Hall – Wellesley, MA
REMOTE – 2 evenings per week on Zoom, 6:00-8:00 pm EST