Lesson Overview

 50 Minutes

 1, 2, 5, 7

 1st - 7th Grade

 State Standards:
Science Standards Scientific Inquiry: 1.3-7.3; Engineering Design: 1.4-7.4

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Materials List

Each group of students making bioplastic will need the following:
  • tablespoon
  • cornstarch
  • corn oil
  • food coloring
  • water
  • plastic bag
  • worksheet

Making Bioplastics

Categories: Agriculture , Chemistry

Common plastic is made from petroleum, a fossil fuel and non-renewable resource. Increasingly, plastic products are being made from biomass which is made from renewable resources, often by-products of agricultural processes.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Divide students into groups and give them the supplies for making their bioplastic. For younger grades, demonstrate the process to the students, asking them to hypothesize at the various stages what will happen and imagine what can be made from bioplastic. Older students can follow the directions and answer the questions on the attached worksheet.
  • To make the bioplastic, place the following ingredients in a plastic bag: 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, two drops of corn oil, one tablespoon of water and 2 drops of food coloring.
  • Seal the bag and gently mix the cornstarch mixture by rubbing the outside of the bag with your fingers until combined.
  • Place the bag in a microwave oven on high for 20-25 seconds. Open the bag slightly, making sure it can vent.

For full instructions, please download our PDF

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