As our first step, we will evaluate our tracking data to determine the most valuable, frequently used web pages. We will also consult with members of the polymer education community in developing countries we hope to help. The current website consists of a welcome page outlining the purpose of the site, pages with a definition of polymer chemistry taken from IUPAC documents, links to educational websites that already provide excellent information, educational content available from or created by team members, video related to polymer chemistry, notable polymer chemists and recent award winners, and links to the polymer division, the polymer division subcommittee on education and CCE.
We have learned that answering “what is a polymer?” drives the most traffic to the site. We expect to include more and easily understandable definitions of polymer terms in this website. The next most visited page was related to the video/essay contest for IYC, but this year it has shifted to polymer videos. Finally, the next top page is the one that links to other educational sites. Currently, the Polymer Education website sits at or near the top of sites when a search for “polymer education” is done on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
We will monitor links on each page that enable us to count the number of visits to each page, the nature of the visit (direct or search engine related) and from what country the visits come. We will in particular be interested in the best way to enhance visits from developing countries. At the moment, the website is prepared in English, but we will be open to other languages if this helps us in our goals.
One of the important goals of the IUPAC Polymer Division is the education of young chemists and in particular offering chemists in the developing world access to educational tools and information. We propose to further enhance the polymer education website (iupac.org/polyedu/), continuing to add innovative features to the website and working with educators in developing countries to add additional improvements.
This upgraded website will include educational content developed as part of this project, an upgraded section on key definitions used in polymer chemistry, links to other polymer educational websites, a new multilingual glossary, videos related to polymer chemistry, links to the gold book, etc. We will consider an exchange forum for students seeking input from experts and the use of social media to link communities with common interests.
Sep 2017 update – Following the relaunch of iupac.org in April 2016, the polyedu site had to be transferred and entirely rekeyed. Within the new platform, Chris Fellows and Patrick Theato are leading this project.
This project is monitored by the Subcommittee on Polymer Education.
Dec 2019 update – The project was a major topic of discussion at the last meeting of the Subcommittee on Polymer Education in Paris and the task group plans to expend the site scope by providing an understanding of polymers and best methods for communication, aimed at students, educators, and the public.
Dec 2020 update – Dr Marloes Peeters -a former IUPAC Young Observer- contributed 3 videos.
First, she explains how she became involved in the IUPAC Polymer Division and her experiences with the wide range of activities with which IUPAC is involved.
Second, she retraces a brisk journey through the past, present, and future of synthetic polymers (‘plastics’).
And third, she presents the story of the discovery by Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim of poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) hydrogels and their use in making the first soft contact lenses.
Last update: 14 Dec 2020