05 Demonstration Show

This event is limited to the first 18 entries

2018 Topic: Polymerization


Polymers, from the Greek “many parts,” are a class of large natural or synthetic molecules made up of repeating patterns of smaller carbon-based molecules known as monomers.  Plastics are formed during a polymerization reaction.  Every year 300 million tons of plastic is produced throughout the world. Plastics are used as containers, pipes, cushions, cars and much more.

Perform a live 3-minute demonstration for a general high school audience that safely demonstrates the concepts of polymerization. The presentation may include a single, dramatic demonstration or a pair of related demonstrations. Emphasis must be on the understanding of the chemistry involved in the reaction. The demonstration should also include the chemical reaction(s) and a model or picture of the polymer on the atomic level. (No Kits Allowed)


  • The event must be completed by a team of 2-3 students.
  • Each team will be allowed exactly 3-minutes to complete the presentation. Points will be deducted for going overtime.
  • The demonstration will be carried out in a lecture hall that seats up to 250 students.
  • Be sure to fully understand the basic chemical principles that are involved with the demonstration to prepare for challenging questions from the judges on Event Day.
  • Prepare a written report that describes the demonstration procedure. See Written Report Guidelines below.
  • The demonstration area includes a demonstration table equipped with sink and water, electricity, safety shield, and a fire extinguisher.
  • A projection device will be provided if requested. It is the responsibility of the team to bring appropriate cables to attach the projector to your computer.
  • You must supply your own portable gas burner. (camp-stove sized)
  • A fume hood is not available.
  • All necessary materials must be brought with you to NJIT. No equipment or chemicals will be provided.
  • Students must observe the ACS Guidelines for Safe Demonstrations.


  • Demonstrators and coaches must observe the ACS Guidelines for Safe Demonstrations.  It is important that competitors be properly supervised during the development and practice sessions that lead up to Event Day.  Any demonstration deemed unsafe by the judges based on the written paper write-up will not be allowed.
  • The main objective of the demonstration should be to correctly teach an audience the chemical principles involved.
  • The demonstration should have a clear goal and be creative in presentation.
  • The demonstration is limited to 3:00 minutes. Points will be deducted for going overtime.


The written report (including diagrams, charts, etc.) may not exceed four pages - 12 pt., single spaced.  Do not include a cover page.  

Written Report Includes:
  1. List of educational objectives that describe the goals of the presentation.
  2. Complete instructions and procedures for the safe method of doing the demonstration.
  3. List of chemicals, supplies and other materials.  
  4. Pertinent diagrams for set-ups.
  5. Chemical reactions.
  6. Proper disposal of products.
  7. List of relevant references.
  • Clearly identify the school, team (A or B), coach and names of students on top of the first page.
  • All sources of information must be identified clearly. (Written sources and a list of people who provided assistance.)
  • Three (3) copies of the complete report must be received by the Director of the NJCO by the deadline indicated in the Requirement Overview. 
  • Bring one extra copy of your report the day of the event.


  • Safety, 10%
  • Learning Objective/Paper, 10%
  • Effectiveness of the demonstration in addressing the learning objective, 20%
  • Knowledge of subject,  30%
  • Presentation & Style,  30%


On Event Day you will complete your demonstration presentation in a lecture hall.  Competitors should practice and prepare for the following:

  • The demonstration is limited to 3:00 minutes. Points will be deducted for going overtime.
  • A 3-minute question and answer period moderated by the head judge during which your understanding of the topic and chemical principles involved in the demonstration will be tested and verified.


  • A projection device will be provided at request.  Your team needs to bring appropriate cables to attach the projector to your computer.
  • No gas jets are available for use.  Typically teams bring in small (camp-stove sized) propane sources of fuel.
  • No fume hood is available.