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Make a corn-based bioplastic (like PLA) in the lab. A recipe is given on page 12 of the April, 2010 ChemMattersarticle by Cynthia Washam, Plastics Go Green.See the section: 112
“References (non-Web-based information sources)” for this article. The reference for this labcomes from the Field Guide to Utah Agriculture in the Classroom, Volume 1: The URL for the original lab activity, Corn Starch Plastic,can be found at: .4.Thermoplastics lab: In this chemistry lab activity, students use a hot glue gun, to investigate the properties of thermoplastics, including viscosity and the effect of heating and cooling. ()5.The chemistry lab activity “Bridging to Polymers” is designed for students to investigate the difference between thermoplastics and thermosets. As described in the introduction: “Students act as engineers to learn about the strengths of various epoxy-amine mixtures and observe the unique characteristics of different mixtures of epoxies and hardeners. Student groups make and optimize thermosets by combining two chemicals in exacting ratios to fabricate the strongest and/or most flexible thermoset possible.” Complete lab instructions and materials lists are located on the site. (?url=collection/uoh_/activities/uoh_polymer/uoh_polymer_lesson01_activity1.xml)6.“Conflicts in Chemistry: The Case of Plastics, a Role-Playing Game for High School Chemistry Student” was written by Deborah Cook. This activity was developed by the Chemical Heritage Foundation to “promote increased public understanding of chemistry”. Asstated in the abstract, “The activity allows students to engage in debate regarding current science policy issues linked to competing values and interests.” The complete directions andstudent information is located on the Chemical HeritageWeb site.(-plastics/index.aspx) For JCEsubscribers only: This activity was also published in the Journal of Chemical Education, October, 2014.Out-of-class Activities and Projects (student research, class projects)1.If English is not the first language of your students, this activity about the process of solving an environmental pollution problem may be especially valuable. The accompanying interactive transcript is available in 31 languages. Ask students to select their preferred language and watch the 10-minute video, “Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria”. Some plastics contain phthalates, as plasticizers, that easily escape to pollute the environment. In the video the scientists decide to tackle a problem in their local area. Note: ABS described in the Wetterschneider 3D printer article does not contain plasticizers.