One-Week Summer Science Program
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Polymer Chemistry is part of the exciting and emerging field of Materials Science! In this program, students will synthesize and explore the properties of polymers, ranging from the fun, like silly putty and slime, to life-saving applications for medicine. Many of the top STEM innovators will rely on utilizing breakthrough materials and polymer chemists will be at the forefront of this new, high-paying field. The award-winning instructor holds an advanced degree from one of the top Materials Chemistry programs in the country.
This one-week summer program is designed for teens interested in Materials Science & Chemistry.
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 and exciting field that encompasses polymer chemistry and plastics engineering of materials to synthesize and 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 where 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!)
Marilyn earned her MS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the top Materials Chemistry program in the country. While in grad school, Marilyn taught Analytical Chemistry and General Chemistry, and she also won the “Commended Teacher and Laboratory Instructor” award. Since graduating, Marilyn has taught AP Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and General Chemistry at top-performing high schools. Each year, her students earn a 4.5/5 average on their AP tests and consistently score between 760-800 on the SAT II.
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