Polymer Detective was a Division C event in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, and 2004. For more information on polymers, see Materials Science/Polymers and Forensics#Polymers. Students are expected to be able to identify common polymers and plastics, as well as demonstrate knowledge about scientific concepts and related terms. Safety goggles are required to participate in this event.
The event is broken down into three parts, the first two of which featured lab components. In parts one and two, students will be expected to identify unknown fibers and plastics. Part three is a written test featuring questions about polymers, their resin codes, and how polymers are made and disposed of.