Session S76 (Thursday, 9:30am, Wartik 107)

P915: Extrapolation from small molecules to polymers: A simple and effective way to promote interest in both organic chemistry and polymer chemistry

Eric Bosch (Missouri State University, USA)

This presentation will describe my approach to the introduction of polymer synthesis throughout both one and two-semester organic chemistry courses over the past 15 years.  It is quite apparent as a teacher that students interest level increases each time I translate simple reactions to polymers – particularly those common yet intriguing polymers. The approach, which will be described in detail, involves the direct extrapolation from the synthesis of discrete small molecules to the synthesis of a variety of polymers. For example we quickly go from amide synthesis to both natural polyamides as well as the early nylons and Kevlar.  Other examples include the extrapolation from ethers to polyethers and esters to polyesters.  The fact that all students have interest in novel polymers such as the newer non-crease fabrics, flame resistant fabrics, and biodegradable polymers should be used to promote interest in a subject we all know is fascinating.

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