MYP 10

Unit 10.5.8: Polymerisation and the plastics industry


  • To show the way alkenes add together to form polymers
  • To appreciate the ubiquitous nature of plastics in our world
  • To understand the disposal problem and examine possible solutions

Class activity

Molymod teacher directed assembly of:

  • Ethene
  • Chloroethene
  • Propene

The students can then link together in pairs, fours, eights etc. to form polymers.

Identification of isotactic and atactic strands

Discussion of intermolecular forces, catalytic effects and substances that may be added during the manufacturing process.

Naming addition polymers, to include PVC, polystyrene, poly(phenylethene), teflon

This could be extended into criterion D - The plastics industry

Teaching notes

The above content can be interspersed with the Garbage Island videos (below) to stimulate discussion


Garbage Island 1

Garbage Island 2

Garbage Island 3

Complete Chemistry: Gallagher and Ingram 3rd Edition - sections 18.1, 18.2, 18.4, 18.5

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