In 1907, the 1st synthetic polymer, Bakelite, was invented by Leo Baekeland. Since that time, synthetic polymers have become ubiquitous in the daily lives of billions of people around the globe due to their wide-ranging properties and utility. In recent years, the environmental and biological dangers of polymers have been increasingly made known to both the scientific community and the general public. Despite the awareness of these dangers, the common slime demonstration has remained a staple for those seeking to introduce polymers in educational settings. In this talk, Dr. Boyd will discuss the current state of environmental polymer contamination and propose alternate ways in which polymers can be introduced into STEM education.