The Chemistry of Clothes

Synthetic materials increase in popularity every year. Exploring Energy takes on the chemistry behind synthetic materials, including polyester. The resource opens with a video explaining the difference between natural and synthetic materials and the pros and cons of each. Then, scholars complete two different activities considering biopolymers and the ecological footprint of making fabrics.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • After completing the activity of finding the footprint of polyester, repeat the process to find the footprint of cotton and hemp
  • Assign some of the discussion questions as short answer to assess understanding
Classroom Considerations

  • Relies on prior knowledge from the previous lessons in the unit
  • 11th lesson of a 13-part series

  • Considers multiple viewpoints and addresses the pros and cons comprehensively
  • Provides a handout highlighting the vocabulary

  • None