It's often said making a rubber compound is like cooking, a lot of trial and error to find the exact proportions, the perfect recipe.
The University of Akron is taking that statement to heart.
"Polymer Science of Cooking," a course developed for the spring semester of 2019, focuses on the basic concepts of polymer science for undergraduate and honors students. It uses common foods, such as ice cream and Jell-O, to illustrate the interaction of polymers (large molecules found in plastic, rubber and DNA).
The course is a natural sciences colloquium and will be held in the Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College.
The course was developed by Hunter King, assistant professor of polymer science; and fifth-year graduate student Michael Wilson, who is working in the lab of Ali Dhinojwala, interim dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.
According to the school, the pair had previously discussed the overlap in the fundamental concepts in polymer science and those of food processing and cooking, and thought the relationship would make for a class.
"This class will be a very good introduction for polymer science topics that would normally be technical," King said in a statement. "The material for this course is in the make-up of different kinds of foods that people are familiar with, but will be interpreted from a scientific perspective."