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Item #: AP1971 

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Use the Polymer Chemistry Demonstration Happy and Sad Balls to explore polymer chemistry. One ball will bounce very high; the other ball will not bounce. Discover why in this lab demonstration.

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One rubber ball will bounce very high; the other rubber ball will hit the ground and not bounce. They look the same, but they are different. Explore polymer chemistry with the Happy/Sad Balls. One Happy and one Sad Ball are included in each package.

The Happy/Sad balls are polymer balls that are ideal for collision studies. The Happy ball stores very little energy in collisions and bounces well. The Sad ball stores a lot of energy and doesn’t bounce. Besides the obvious collision activities, try the following:
• Place them in water. Which floats? Which sinks? Mass them and calculate their densities.
• Freeze the balls for at least an hour and then bounce them before they warm up. (Amazing reversal.)
• Place them in boiling water and then bounce them.
• Which one is most efficient in knocking over objects?
• Which polymer would you want in your tennis shoes? car bumpers? rubber hammer?

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Analyzing and interpreting data
Planning and carrying out investigations

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
HS-PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Structure and function
Energy and matter

Performance Expectations

MS-PS3-4. Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.
HS-PS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.