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Sodium Polyacrylate (Diaper Polymer) NGSS

  • Sodium Polyacrylate (Diaper Polymer) 113g (4 oz)
    Item #: GB-6A
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  • Sodium Polyacrylate (Diaper Polymer) 454 g (1 lb)
    Item #: GB-6B
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  • Sodium Polyacrylate (Diaper Polymer) 2270 g (5 lb package)
    Item #: GB-620
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The super-absorbent polymer found in disposable baby diapers.

Description

This is the super-absorbent polymer found in disposable baby diapers. Also used in many "disappearing water" magic tricks, this fine white powder instantly turns liquid water into a slush-like solid substance. Technically speaking, the polymer absorbs from 500 to 1,000 times its own weight in water. Simply add table salt to reverse the reaction. Safe and amazing -- your students will love it!

Download the SDS of this product.

Read more on our Blog - Bring Some Magic Into Your Classroom!

Read more on our Blog - Back to School Experiments with Sodium Polyacrylate

Video


Lesson Ideas

Download the pdf of this lesson!

Download the MSDS of this product.

Sodium Polyacrylate is a white granular powder which rapidly absorbs water. It will instantly absorb from 500 to 1,000 times its mass in water. One of its greatest uses is in making diapers super-absorbent. Table salt, NaCl, destroys the gel and releases the water.

Suggestions for Use:

1. How much water will a super-absorbent diaper hold?
Procedure:
Show students a super-absorbent diaper, a glass, and a pitcher of water. Ask students how many glasses of water the diaper will hold. While one student is holding the diaper open, slowly pour glasses of water into the entire length of the diaper. If you are careful, it will hold 7 to 10 glasses of water. One might conclude that babies only need to be changed once a day!
Explanation:
The fibers of the diaper contain a small amount of sodium polyacrylate, which instantly gels the water.

2. What's inside of a super-absorbent diaper? (Good for small groups)
Procedure:
Over a tabletop, cut a super-absorbent diaper in half and pull out some of the fibers. Shake the fibers and pull them apart, allowing the sodium polyacrylate granules and fibers to fall onto the table. With your hand, push everything that has fallen into a pile. Pick up and discard the top fibers. The white granules that remain are sodium polyacrylate, which makes the diaper super-absorbent. Using a dropper, slowly add water to the granules and watch the gel instantly form. Show the students a bottle of sodium polyacrylate and ask them to predict how many super-absorbent diapers could be made with this amount of powder.

3. How many drops of water can you hold on the tip of your finger? (Good for small groups, and for winning bar room wagers)
Procedure:
Ask students to guess the number of drops of water that can fit on one of their fingers – usually only a few. Then, with a dropper, show them that you can keep as many as twenty drops of water on your fingertip.
Explanation:
Simply place a few granules of sodium polyacrylate on your fingertip, and slowly add the drops of water, allowing one drop to gel before adding another.

4. How good are your powers of observation? – 'Three Cup Monty' (Good for both large and small groups)
Procedure:
Start with three tall white Styrofoam™ cups and a pitcher of water. After showing students that the cups are empty, fill one halfway with water. Tell students to carefully observe the cup with water as you quickly move the cups back and forth. Ask them which cup has the water. Then show them that they are correct by pouring the water into one of the other cups. Do this several times until finally everyone guesses wrong. Simply invert the cup they guessed. Then ask them to guess among the two remaining cups. Wrong again, invert this cup on top of the first inverted cup. Finally, show them that the water has disappeared by inverting the remaining cup and adding it to the stack.
Explanation:
Beforehand, add a heaping teaspoon of sodium polyacrylate to one of the three cups. It is so white no one will notice when you initially show them that the cups are empty. In the initial pourings, never pour the water into this prepared cup. Then, when you want the water to 'disappear', pour the water into the cup containing the sodium polyacrylate. The water will instantly gel and stick to the inside of the Styrofoam™ cup.

5. Can you invert a glass of water without the water flowing out? (Good for both large and small groups)
Procedure:
Start with two beakers or two clear plastic cups, one of which contains a heaping teaspoon of sodium polyacrylate. From a pitcher, pour water into the empty container. Holding both containers, one in each hand, pour the water into the one containing the sodium polyacrylate. Quickly pour the water back and forth until it completely gels. Then invert.
To reverse the process and release the water, add a few heaping teaspoons of table salt to the gel and stir.

6. Can you follow directions? (Good for both large and small groups)
Procedure:
Pour water into a Styrofoam™ cup, place a card over the opening, invert, and place on top of a student's head. Ask the student to hold this inverted cup on top of his head. Pull out the card and have the student who is holding the cup read what is on the card. It says: 'DO NOT REMOVE THIS CARD FROM THE CUP!' Pick up the cup and show that the water seems to have disappeared.
Explanation:
Before starting, add a heaping teaspoon of sodium polyacrylate to the cup.

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Reviews

23 reviews
Sodium Polyacrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 14, 2019
From reading the reviews, it appears that everyone is happy with the product (one did not like the cost) and have used it in a number of ways. At outreach events that are "stage show" type of presentations, we use it as the disappearing water cup trick. We have three cups, one with the sodium polyacrylate in it. We add water to that cup and them tell the audience that we are going to shuffle the cups and they are to keep their eyes on the one with water. Of course, when we show that all the cups are "empty" we add more water to that cup and shuffle them again. We repeat one more time and then by shaking hard, we empty the "empty" cup into a glass dish so all can see. Many have seen this trick but we do it anyway. We do talk about what's happening and its use in diapers. If time allows, we even remove some from a diaper and show how it to absorbs water. Finally, we show the effect of adding salt to the mixture releases the water, salt being more attractive than the water. For higher grades and adults we are also able to explain the chemistry and uses other than just diapers. Good product that goes along nicely with the Instant Snow Polymer.
Kenneth Lyle

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Perfect for our needs
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Apr 30, 2019
This chemical was required for the lab portion of the U.S. Chemistry Olympiad National Exam. Our stockroom did not have it so I ordered it from Educational Innovations. The order arrived in two days and was exactly what we needed.
Stephen Z Goldberg

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Sodium Polyacrylate (Diaper Polymer)
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Mar 11, 2019
"Diaper Polymer" allows me to help my 2nd and 5th graders better connect matter to the real world. Through investigations, they discover how matter is used to keep babies dry. Great for reinforcing NGSS matter concepts in 2nd and 5th grade.
Jason Lindsey

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Great!
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 16, 2019
I have used this product in a number of ways. The way that the kids seemed to like the bast was when we used it to predict the amount of water that one gram of the stuff would hold before puddling. Was a great intro to science methodology
Doug Spicher

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Perfect
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 11, 2019
Great for demos, good size and easy to use.
Jeromy Rech

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Love it!
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Apr 6, 2017
I use this at the beginning of the year for the scientific method. It really gets kids thinking. I also use it in an inquiry lab where they have to modify hand warmers to make them hotter. There are tons of ways to use it. Highly recommended.
Amy

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0   1

good product
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Nov 3, 2015
Good product, fast delivery
francois evans

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Great for classroom experiments! :)
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Aug 12, 2015
Fun product to use while learning about the scientific method. Look up lesson ideas online.
Rhonda

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Sodium Polyacrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 24, 2015
Great service! Speedy delivery. Good price.
Joan Bain

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awesome
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Dec 4, 2014
I think that sodium poly is awesome.Wow!
Zakiyah Acosta-Galloway

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Kids Loved It
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Aug 28, 2014
What a great way for kids excited about science at the beginning of the year! So easy to use!
Karen Aschenbrenner

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Purchase for my classroom
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Jul 27, 2014
Very easy ordering. Quick delivery. Product is exactly what I wanted!
Susan

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An Amazing Product
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Apr 22, 2014
What an amazing product for children. I used this to visualize the scripture Hebrews 11:1. How Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Dr. Harris

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Educational Innovations
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Mar 7, 2014
We use a lot of products that Educational Innovations carries, however the pricing is a bit high compared to Amazon and eBay. Since we are a franchise member - would like to see group pricing options for our company.
Mark

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Sodium Polyacdrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Sep 10, 2013
I ordered the product and it was delivered less then 2 days! I used it with my science class and it was a big success! The students thought it was so cool! I would use it again to teach the scientific method or chemistry!!!
Karen

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0   0

Sodium Polyacrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Aug 24, 2013
I used this product as a lab to help my students learn the Scientific Method. Every student absolutely LOVED it and I enjoyed the lesson as well. If you are looking for a great, fun way to get your kids interested in learning then this is it!!!
Katherine Genova

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Sodium Polyacrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Apr 13, 2013
Great product.
A Bakarr Kanu

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Amazing!
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 30, 2012
I use this polymer and the instant snow polymer to perform the disappearance of water and the transformation of water in snow. After these "tricks" the curiosity of kids jump to the stars.
Mauro De Paoli

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The simplest, most effective magic trick
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
The best and probably one of the few magic trick i perform well is the disappearance of water. When i experiment with kids, the first thing i tell them is that "magic" doesn't exists. By explaining to them that all good magicians know their "trick" because they understand the science behind it. But not every good scientist can become a good magician. And then i do make water disappear before theirs eyes and ask them how is this possible? And the discussion starts; that is the fun part, trying to understand what is happening?
Martin Roy

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sodium polaycrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
Great for inquiry!
Mary Jo Gardner

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Diaper polymer
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
Diaper polymer is a great way to "hook" the kids into science. I do the 3 cup majic trick with water. Love the product.
Judith L. Schriver

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The Wow Factor
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
Sodium polyacrylate has been great for getting students or the audience's attention by secretly having some in a cup and adding water and then just turning the cup over. Lively discussion and learning begins.
Al

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Sodium Polyacrylate
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 16, 2012
Sodium polyacrylate never ceases to educate and entertain. I've used it at my Science Clubs in discussions on polymers and at my Science Shows to entertain the audience. I always keep a supply on hand.
Cecilia Wisniewski

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NGSS

This product will support your students' understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*, as shown in the table below.

Elementary Middle School High School

2-PS1-2

Students can analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

5-PS1-3

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.

5-PS1-4

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.

MS-PS1-2

Students can analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.

MS-PS1-6

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical process.

ETS1.B

A solution needs to be tested, and then modified on the basis of the test results in order to improve it.

MS-PS1-4

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.

HS-PS1-4

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.

HS-PS1-5

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate as evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which the reaction occurs.

HS-PS2-6

Students will observe and communicate scientific information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of a material.

HS-PS1-7

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.

Suggested Science Idea(s)

DCI/HS1.B
HS-PS1-4
HS-PS1-5

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to feel the bonds during the endothermic and exothermic reactions.

2-PS1-2

Students can conduct simple tests using Sodium Polyacrylate to better understand the rate at which the polymers absorb or evaporate water. Information gathered can be used as evidence to support or refute student ideas about hydrophilic (water loving) materials.

5-PS1-3

This fine white powder instantly turns liquid water into a slush-like solid substance, helping students to evaluate materials based on their properties.

5-PS1-4

Students can use Sodium Polyacrylate to conduct an investigation to determine whether the mixing of two or more substances results in new substances.When mixed with water, it turns into slush. The process can be reversed by adding table salt.

 

*NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.

Q & A