Youth will be introduced to science and engineering as they explore properties of materials and discover how objects are designed with material properties. Special focus is placed on the impact and prevalence of plastics in our everyday lives. Youth will explore materials and their properties, sort materials based on their observations, identify different types of plastics and their proper disposal, learn how to lessen our impact on the Earth and its resources, and explore the role scientists and engineers play in advancing our knowledge about the world.

Preview of Curriculum

What is a Scientist? Engaging Youth as Scientists and Engineers

          Activity A: What is a Scientist?

          Activity B: I Wonder … Hydrogel Crystals and Scientist Mystery Boxes

          Activity C: What is an Engineer? 

Curriculum Introduction and Overview

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Module 2

The Many Properties of Materials

          Activity A: Exploring Materials

          Activity B: Materials Engineering

Module 3

Plastics in Your World

          Activity A: What “Sort” of Plastic is This?

          Activity B: U.S. Numbering System

          Activity C: What Can We Do with Our Plastic?

Module 4

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

​          Activity A: The Recycling Factory

          Activity B: Be a "Re-Use" Engineer!


Module 5

Renewable vs. Non-Renewable

          Activity A: Sorting Materials

          Activity B: Mining for Materials


Module 6

Scientists and Engineers

          Activity A: An Engineer’s Tale

          Activity B: YOU are a Scientist or Engineer!