Child looking at clear bag with orange gel pieces.

Grades K-2

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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.

Modules Preview


  • What is a Scientist? Engaging Youth as Scientists and Engineers
Module 1
  • Activity A: What is a Scientist?
  • Activity B: I Wonder … Hydrogel Crystals and Scientist Mystery Boxes
  • Activity C: What is an Engineer? ​​​
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!