Polymer Science Exploration Activities

The Polymer Science Exploration Activities are designed to provide additional learning opportunities for groups. Educators can choose to add one or more of these optional activities to support youth learning in different areas, such as: science and engineering in society, sustainability, and the impacts of plastics

CSP Polymer Chemist Stephanie Liffland

Meet a Scientist Videos

 

Youth will learn from graduate student polymer scientists

Watch Videos on Quick Bytes

Engineering Blueprint.

Engineering Consultant Challenge

 

Engineering Consultant Challenge

Youth become engineering consultants and work as a team to plan a group activity that promotes sustainable consumer decisions

 

Download Engineering Consultant Challenge

Paper Cup

Cup Wars

 

In this activity, youth will explore different types of plastics, including petroleum based and plant-based plastics. They will conduct a test to see how heat affects these different plastics.

 

Download Cup Wars

Reusable shopping bag

Old Plastics into New Products

In this activity, youth fuse old plastic bags using an iron to create new products like bags, coasters, mats or rugs.

Download Old Plastics into New Products

Scenic beach view outlooking the ocean

We're Going to a Beach Party

 

The goal of this activity is for youth to begin to explore the consequences of different material choices by deciding what kind of plates, forks, and eating utensils to bring to a party.

 

Download We’re Going to a Beach Party

Leaf

Making Bioplastics

 

In this activity, youth will create their own bioplastic from cornstarch, vegetable oil, and water. Please note, a microwave is needed.

 

Download Making Bioplastics

Children dressed as superheroes.

Youth Change Agents

Youth will learn about a wide range of young people and adults working to address the challenge of plastics. Suggested projects are also included.

Download Youth Change Agents

People packing lunchboxes.

Packing a Waste Free Lunch

 

Visit epa.gov for activities and recommendations on alternatives to plastic lunch items.

Pack a waste free lunch

Plastic Balloon Sculpture

Plastic Sculpture Challenge

 

The Plastic Sculpture Challenge includes 4 lessons to explore the world of plastics, including making an amazing piece of art by repurposing (upcycling) single use plastics, conducting a household plastic audit, learning about the Resin Identification Code (numbers) on plastic containers, and sharing learning. Groups can create a final showcase of the plastic sculptures created by youth.

 

Download Plastic Sculpture Challenge