Algae String

AlgaeStringsGraphics-03.png

Introduction 

We use plastic objects every day. But what is plastic? If we zoomed in for a closer look, we'd see that it’s made of lots of long molecule chains called polymers. Most of today's plastics are made in a lab and not environmentally friendly, but nature can make useful polymers too! For example, natural rubber and paper are both created from natural polymers that are biodegradable. In this activity you will use polymers made by algae and a bit of chemistry to create your own custom string! 

Design Challenge

Create your own colorful string creations using ingredients that come from algae. Then craft fun things with your string! 

Subject

Biodesign, Chemistry, Materials Science

Ages

8+

Time

Make algae gel: 20 min

Let gel rest: 1 hr- overnight

Make calcium bath: 5 min

Make string: 30 min

Key Concepts

Polymers, chemical reactions, biomaterials, fiber arts

This activity was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Grant Number R25 GM129220, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

Getting Started

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