Getting Started

Doing Neat Stuff With Polymers

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Brought to you by the letter "q" and the number 1 X 10-10 which is a very small number Click here to see what's new on the Polymer Activity site!

Just to help get you started, let me point out a couple of things:

  • First, you will see lots of words you don't know, lots of new concepts dealing with polymers that you don't understand. We have set up a reference site where you you can find most of this information called The Macrogalleria
  • Second, some of the activities here require help from an adult if you're not already close to being one youself. This means: "DON'T DO IT UNLESS SOMEONE HELPS YOU!" There may be chemicals that are somewhat unfriendly if you spill them, sharp objects like knives or flames involved. You must learn this very important lesson: If you want to do science, you have to learn to be careful and when to ask for help. Everyone needs help sometimes, so there's nothing wrong with learning to ask for it now.
  • Next, you have to learn to pace yourself. This means to work slowly when needed, always with an eye on the whole activity so you know how much time is needed to finish and how much time you have right now. Plan for when you have to stop for a while: save your data and materials where they are safe and you can find them again.
  • Last, you have to keep a journal of some kind to write things in about what you do and what you learn. "Why?" you ask. Simple: anything you do worth doing didn't really happen unless it's recorded somewhere. We use our brains for recording most of what happens to us: this is our main storage device for everything we learn. Problem is, it's not always easy to remember where we stored something in those vast, cavernous hallways of your mind. If you write stuff down, it makes it easier to think about and find later. It also gets you in the habit of writing things down, which is very good habit to have in life and in doing science. So, find a book of some kind, a bound book that will last a long time, and start making notes. There's an activity on how to keep good notes below: try it out.