Gumdrop Chains and Shrinky Necklaces

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In this activity, learners thread gumdrops together to make a model of a polymer. Then they thread the chains together to mimic crosslinks, and discover how crosslinked polymers act differently than uncrosslinked ones. Use this activity to illustrate about the various structures of polymers.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • Needle
  • Strong thread
  • Gumdrops or gummy bears


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Food and Cooking
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watkiss, Gina