Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Connecting ideas

In lab today we created monomers and then put them together to create polymers. In doing this we were able to see patterns as well as variations in certain structures. We also had to think in creative ways to figure out how to connect our monomers. In the picture below you can see a symmetrical polymer with no variations from monomer to monomer.

The pattern can be obviously seen in this polymer as each monomer is exactly the same as the previous one. 

This next polymer has a less obvious pattern, even though each monomer is the same there are variations in the way they connect to each other because they are rotated in different ways. 

These variations resemble the variations in DNA, DNA is a helix pattern but a variation could cause one monomer to connect differently to the next. And then one organism could be completely different because of this variation.

The next polymer does not have a distinct pattern:

Even though we cannot see a specific pattern it does not mean that there isn't one. If you spend enough time observing this polymer you could find a pattern or series of commonalities between some of the monomers.

The article we read at the beginning of the lab explained that the purpose of using legos to create monomers in this lab was to help create a better understanding of how monomers work and it also was supposed to create a fun way for students to learn about monomers and patterns. This lab was fun to do, using legos also helped us to engage our creative sides in lab which is usually left out of science class.

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