Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

Caren Birchwood-Taylor

Bayside High School, Queens


What is the Thermal Depolymerization Process?


Explain Boyle’s Law and Charles’ Law

What is a polymer?



Teacher burns a sheet of paper.

Q : What do you observe? (elicit burning smell, black soot, gases)

T : We will be studying this today in a more controlled process.

Student volunteers explain Boyle’s Law and Charles’ Law on the board by describing the laws, writing the equations, and drawing the related graphs. Another volunteer defines a polymer. [9-12 Content Standard B- Properties of matter]

T : Asks students to use the text to draw the structural formula for starch.

In groups, students will discuss how intense heat and pressure may affect starch and derive possible products from the process. Students answers contribute to class discussion and placed on the board. [9-12 Content Standard B- Chemical reactions]

T : Explains summer research experience using poster. Explain the TDP used in this research. Mentions that this and other research done at Hofstra will be seen during visit. [Teaching Standard E- Model skills of scientific inquiry]


How are Boyle’s Law and Charles’ Law applied in the TDP?

What do you predict will happen if paper is used in the TDP reactor?


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