Children working on 4H curriculum.

Grades 3-5
Plastics of the Future for a Green, Clean World

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Sustainable Polymers: Plastics of the Future for a Green, Clean World is an inquiry-based science curriculum focusing on the following concepts: materials; plastics; reduce, use, recycle; and the work of scientists and engineers. The curriculum is designed to build foundational skills of science and engineering: observation, asking questions, sorting and classifying, and communicating. The curriculum contains six learning modules intended for delivery in out-of-school time facilitated by an educator (trained volunteers or program staff). Modules also include a “Science At Home” activity to be completed by parents/other adults and children at home.

Modules Preview


  • Curriculum Introduction and Overview
Module 1 Be a Scientist
  • Activity A: Draw a Scientist or Engineer
  • Activity B: What’s My Property?
  • Activity C: Be a Slime ScientistVideos: Meet a Scientist
Module 2 Materials Matter
  • Activity A: Cup Wars
  • Activity B: What’s the Science Behind Cup Wars?
  • Activity C: Polymers –One Type of Material
  • Activity D: A Stop at the QuickShop Store
Module 3 Plastics in Your World
  • Activity A: Sort, Sort, Sort!
  • Activity B: Sort by Plastic Identification Code
Module 4 Plastics in Our World
  • Activity A, Round 1: Where Does All of the Plastic Go?
  • Activity A, Round 2: The Choice is Yours
  • Activity B: Upcycled Plastic Bottles
Module 5​ Buy, Sell, Build
  • Activity A: Buy, Sell, Create
  • Activity B: Make Your Own Bioplastic!​
Module 6 Service Learning
  • Activity A: Pre-Service Planning
  • Activity B: Service in Action
  • Activity C: Reflecting, Sharing, Celebrating