Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Childhood complexity

At the start of the lab our table group decided on the goal that we would all make different monomers, and see if in the end our polymers had any similarities. Some groups made monomers consisting of just three Lego blocks, others used the maximum amount of Lego blocks to build their monomers. Everyone’s varying monomers around the table looked like random Legos at first, but once we started connecting our monomers to build polymers we were able to draw similarities between them.

            One our discoveries that arose when we all compared our polymers was that some of the resembled polymers found online even though we did not google images before starting the lab. The polymers below are tall and have pieces that jut out similar to the polymer found online. This led us to the conclusion that when we do not try to reach a predetermined goal like science typically teaches, but instead focus on the process of getting to the goal the outcome is better than expected. In connecting our topic for the semester, making the invisible visible we discovered during this lab that the invisible is the learning that can be achieved during the research process of science. And the visible part is the outcome that scientists seek to reach before they start labs.  

When observing the patterns created by the monomers at our table, it reminded us of how H20 molecules attach to each other to make the physical substance of water. A single H20 molecule is simple: two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. Yet as a whole, it’s difficult to observe the patterns of many H20 molecules put together to create water. At first it may seem like there is no pattern, especially when the angle constantly changes as we see with our own Lego polymers, but nonetheless the pattern exists. Unlike our polymer molecules there weren’t any positive or negative sides to create the attachment between monomers, like how it chemically happens in between water monomers, but since our selection of attachment was random we can compare the randomness of it. Positive and negative side of water molecules attach randomly, much like how we decided to attach our Lego monomers. The result is similar images— random patterns.

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