What do artificial snow and baby diapers have in common? Some folks may scratch their heads, but if you’re a science teacher you probably already know the answer(s): they both contain sodium polyacrylate, and they both fall into the fascinating category of SAPs—superabsorbent polymers. These polymers simply LOVE water!
This edition of our newsletter is all about hydrophilic, or water loving, materials. We’re proud to share these comments from science loving teachers!
¨ —Susan Wanzer of Goodyear, AZ
Excellent for demonstrating osmosis. I bought these alligators about 4 years ago to use during my Cellular Transport unit. I teach high school biology and my students have a very difficult time understanding osmosis. I start by reading the book Zack’s Alligator to my classes. We then weigh this little alligator and record data on a data chart. Each day a different student weighs their class’s gator (teaches use of a balance for the first time). They record all data and at the end, they graph the percent change in mass. Excellent for showing hypotonicity. Then we let the gator evaporate and repeat the same process demonstrating hypertonicity. My students really get it after this activity. I’ve used the same gators for about 4 years and they still work great!!