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

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.

Preview of Curriculum

Curriculum Introduction and Overview

Be a Scientist

Activity A: Draw a Scientist or Engineer

Activity B: What’s My Property?

Activity C: Be a Slime Scientist

Videos: Meet a Scientist

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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