STEM Careers Coalition: A Sweet Petroleum Polymer
How much do petroleum-based polymers hold our world together?

Students get a sense of the immense strength and versatility of petroleum-based polymers, by taking a closer look at one of its most popular applications – chewing gum! They will examine several types of natural polymers at the molecular level, and analyze the polymer content in different types of gum.

Students will be able to:
• Examine the chemical
structure of different types
of natural polymers to
determine patterns.
• Conduct an investigation and
analyze data to compare the
amount of polymer in different
types of chewing gum.

Middle School: Grades 6–8
45–60 minute activity

Science Topics
Chemistry, Polymers
Middle School, Educator
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade
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A Sweet Petroleum Polymer Classroom Activity

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