Learn about biplastics and how their composition affects their physical properties.
- Students will make samples of different bioplastics and design an experiment to compare the biodegradability of their bioplastic samples to a traditional plastic.
- Aligned to NGSS Practices
- Performance expectations: HS-PS2-6, HS-LS2-7, HS-ESS3-4, HS-ETS1-1, HS-ETS1-2, HS-ETS1-3
- Disciplinary core ideas: PS2.B, LS2.C, LS4.D, ETS1.B, ESS3.C, ETS1.A, ETS1.C
- Cross cutting concepts include structure and function. Stability and change
- Engineering practices include obtaining evaluating and communicating information, constructing explanations and designing solutions. Asking questions and defining problem
Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic are produced each year and used for a variety of products, from packaging to automobiles. The majority of these products are disposable items, leading to excessive amounts of plastic being discarded into landfills and the oceans. Due to the major threat this poses to the environment, scientists and engineers are developing bioplastics that break down more quickly and produce less harmful byproducts than traditional plastics. In this activity, students will make samples of different bioplastics to study how their composition affects their physical properties. They will then use what they have learned to create a bioplastic that could be used to replace the PET plastic in disposable water bottles. Additionally, students will design an experiment to compare the biodegradability of their bioplastic samples to a traditional plastic. Kit contains enough materials for 15 groups. Teacher's Manual and Student Study Guide copy masters are included.
Delivery information: Kit includes instructional manual and SDS booklet.