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Molecular Structure Kit

(in stock)


The investigative phenomenon for these investigations is the nature of plastic, or more precisely the question, “What is plastic?” Students will explore this phenomenon through the production of bioplastics while working to answer the driving question, “How can you change the behavior of a plastic by altering its molecular structure?” Note: This lab requires a total of 6 days for sample drying: Investigation 1, the bioplastic preparation, requires 4 days; Investigation 2, the bioplastic preparation, 2. To maximize efficiency, thirty-six 100-mL beakers and 36 ceramic fiber squares are recommended; however, the lab may be completed with 12 of each item. Although optional for this lab, calipers provide more accurate measurements of the bioplastic and bioplastic film thicknesses.

Time Requirement
Total, 390 minutes. Teacher prep, 120 minutes. Pre-lab, 60 minutes. Investigation 1, 95 minutes. Investigation 2, 85 minutes. Assessment, 30 minutes.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts
Structure and Function

Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Learning Objectives

  • Produce and test bioplastics based on a supplied recipe.
  • Modify the recipe, then design, produce, and test a bioplastic film.
  • Construct an explanation for how the characteristics of a plastic at the bulk scale are derived from their molecular structures.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should have a strong understanding of covalent bonds and structural formulas; a basic understanding of intermolecular forces; a basic understanding of monomers and polymers; and know the correct use of a digital balance.


What’s Included:
Needed But Not Included:
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