Sharing the joys of polymer chemistry.

Young Dawgs

UGA Young Dawgs is a program providing summer internships to highschool students. This unique program allows students to catch a glimpse of university life while advancing their interest and skill in the hard sciences. Students work along side current graduate students to gain an advanced knowledge in the field of polymer chemistry.

Clarke County School District Science and Engineering Fair

The CCSD Science and Engineering Fair is a local science competition for 6th-12th grade students in the Clark County School District. Winners in the junior and senior divisions are able to further compete in the regional competition, with the possibility of attending the statewide Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. Encompassing many scientific disciplines, participation in the fair allows students to learn and apply the scientific method to independent projects. The Locklin group assists in this competition by serving as judges and performing demonstrations for the students.

Bioenergy Day at UGA

Bioenergy Day at UGA is an annual outreach event organized by the UGA Bioenergy Systems Research Institute in order to demonstrate hands-on demonstrations involving alternative renewable energy sources to elementary and middle school children. The Locklin Lab participates in this outreach event by creating solar cells from various berries.

Nylon Rope Trick

The nylon rope trick is a classic example of a simple polycondensation. Nylon 6-10 forms at the interface of the two monomer solutions which can be extracted by a stir rod, or in our case a power drill.

Click here for instructions on this demo.

Rubber Band Thermodynamics

Most materials expand with applied heat to allow for the increased entropy from more rapid molecular vibrations. However, elastomers, like rubber bands, contract upon heating! As the long polymer chains wiggle more vigorously, they become more entangled with one another and actually take up less space than before.

The image on the left shows the rubberband before heating streached by a weight. The image on the right is the same rubber band after heating. It can be seen that the rubber band contracts by close to half an inch!

Click here for instructions on this demo.

Thermoplastic Starch

Biodegradable plastics are important in limiting built-up waste from packaging and other disposable materials. These plastics are typically made of naturally occuring monomers, such as glucose to form a starch. Specifically, this thermoplastic starch is comprised of two polymers, amylopectin and amylose, which are branched and straight chains, respectively.

To make the resultant film more ductile, glycerin is added as a plasticizer. These glycerin molecules lodge between polymer chains to increase the free volume between chains. This prevents close packing which decreases the glass transition temperature, thus making the film more flexible.

Click here for instructions on this demo.

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