Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Patterns and play with legos

 This week’s lab was the perfect example of the power of play. Building monomers out of legos and then connecting them truly does show how polymers are just repeating patterns. Furthermore, everything in nature is just repeating patterns. On a molecular level atoms have repeating patterns and they create larger patterns such as the uniformity of snowflakes or the spirals in a seashell. These bigger concepts are what makes the power of play invigorating; we would not have pondered these questions if it wasn’t for the time and energy we put into creating these models during lab.


     The trick in this lab was knowing that somehow our patterned monomers were going to come together to create something else. In our minds, it was something we kept looking out for. It was exactly what we learned in lab. Abiogenesis or molecular evolution: creating life from non life. Simple molecules to complex molecules. Our simple monomers came together to create a more complex figure.


The process to creating these polymers was quite spontaneous. Yes, we had some shapes in mind when building off our monomers, but that quickly changed as there were so many unusual connections to be made from the legos. It was hard to keep track, and that led to each of us creating an authentic complex shapes.


We learned a lot with this lab, especially on the topic of patterns and molecule complexity. Patterns couldn’t exactly form if there wasn’t enough stability in the monomers to come together and form a polymer. This brought out some important lessons on what makes a molecule strong and able to interact monomer to monomer. As we continued to build up the shape and size of the molecule, it may become more unstable and thus we needed to make changes the structure in order to connect the monomers and form patterns.

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