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Ward's World Joke Juice Activity

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Page 1 Joke Juice Recommended Grade Level(s): Appropriate for: All grade levels Time Requirements: Activity Time: 10 minutes Teaching Topics & Concepts: Illustrate the effect of cross-linking on a polymer. Background: Polymerization is a critical chemical process that produces many prod- ucts found in our everyday lives. Polymerization occurs when small molecules (monomers) join to form long chains containing a repeating group. Some polymers form naturally, while others are manufactured by humans. In polymer chemistry, "cross-linking" refers to the use of cross- links to cause a change in the polymers' physical properties. By selecting the monomer and controlling the amount of cross-link- ing, chemists can pick and choose the properties of polymers they synthesize and develop exciting new polymers. Students can complete this activity using a natural polymer, guar gum (a polysaccharide), to make an ooey-gooey mixture that demonstrates cross-linking principles. Materials: • Guar gum • Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, Na2B4O7 • 10H2O • Red food coloring • Glass stirring rod • Empty glass juice bottle (~300 mL) • Distilled water • 100 mL graduated cylinder • 100 mL beaker • Electronic balance + ward ' s science Safety • Read the SDS sheets for all chemicals before using them. • Wear safety glasses and gloves. • Remove the original label from the juice bottle and clearly label the container to ensure it is not mistaken as drinkable juice. !

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