Making Polymers - Create Your Own Fluorescent Alginate Worms Classroom Kit

Making Polymers - Create Your Own Fluorescent Alginate Worms Classroom Kit

Overview

Create your own alginate worms, and watch them glow under a black light!

Warnings

Making Polymers - Create Your Own Fluorescent Alginate Worms Classroom Kit

Regular price $44.95 In Stock
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Overview

Create your own alginate worms, and watch them glow under a black light!

Warnings

Product Details

Making Polymers - Fluorescent Alginate Worms
by Aldon - Innovating Science

Polymers affect nearly every aspect of our every day lives. In your own house, there are many different kinds of them: the plastic cups we drink from, the containers that hold our cooking spices, some of our clothing is made of polymers, and even components in our refrigerators, televisions and computers contain them.

What -is- a polymer, though? The most basic explanation of it is that it's something made of many like parts, similar to a chain. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands, of molecules linked together to for a chain of polymers, and it's that grouping which allows us to create something. There are also natural polymers, like glucose and cellulose.

So how do we make a worm out of polymer? We take sodium alginate, which is a naturally occurring polymer found in seaweed. It's typically added to foods as a thickening agent, and also used to prepare certain medications and cosmetics. When you add it to water, it turns into a viscous solution; adding calcium chloride, and the alginate starts to cross-link. Cross-linking is when multiple polymer molecules are linked to each other. By adding the calcium chloride to the alginate solution, we can cause cross-linking to occur, and form a gel called calcium alginate. The longer the two stay in contact, the more cross-linking occurs, and the more rigid the gel gets.

That's the basic science behind the alginate worms. To make them, you simply mix up a bit of alginate with water, preferably in a bottle with a squeeze-top, and squirt it into another container that has a calcium chloride solution. This particular experiment has the fluorescent chemicals fluorescein, rhodamine B, and quinine sulfate added to calcium chloride solutions, which, once the worms have formed, will cause them to fluoresce under a black light.

This kit provides everything you need to create the worms. It's up to you to supply containers to make our fluorescent alginate worms, the water, and a black light.

Additional Information

SKU

ALDIS7045

Weight

5.0 lb

Country of Origin

US

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