User login

Exploring A Hydrogel

Source Institutions

    American Chemical Society

Add to listGo to activity
Exploring A Hydrogel

In this activity on page 10 of the PDF, learners develop an experiment to answer the following question: "How much water can the hydrogel in a baby diaper hold?" Use this activity to explore polymers, nanoscale science and nanotechnology. Safety notes: The powder in baby diapers is irritating to the eye and nasal membranes. Avoid shaking the diapers a lot, since doing so is more likely to irritate your nose. Always wear goggles when doing this activity. The gelled material can be disposed of in the trash -- do not put it in the sink, as it may clog the drain!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

English, Portuguese, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • 2 baby diapers (same size)
  • Measuring tools
  • Water
  • Anything else you need to do the experiment that you plan


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Hogue, Lynn; McGinnis, Michael


  • All Rights Reserved, American Chemical Society, ©2012


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: