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Innovating Science™ Polymers - Making Fluorescent Worms

Allow students to learn about polymers and cross-linking using this fun and colorful activity.

Supplier:  Innovating Science™ IS7045

Catalog No. S20641

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WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including D&C Red No. 19, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer.

Requires : 3 Containers for calcium chloride solutions (such as beakers, glass jars, or plastictrays) Black light



  • Students add a solution of sodium alginate to three calcium chloride solutions, each containing a different fluorescent dye
  • After a few minutes the liquid sodium alginate solution forms into gel-like polymer “worms”
  • Upon completion of the activity, the worms may be placed under a black light and the students will observe their worms glow red, blue, and green
  • Contains enough material to make several dozen polymer worms


13 to 20
7 to 14
6 g Sodium Alginate, 1 L Calcium Chloride/0.1% Fluorescein, 0.1M, 1 L Calcium Chloride/0.04% Rhodamine B, 0.1M, 1 L Calcium Chloride/0.5% Quinine Sulfate, 0.1M, 3 Empty bottles with flip-top caps, 6 Forceps
7 x 7.25 x 12.375 in.


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