Properties of Plastics

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Learning Outcomes

By the end of this activity, learners will:
  • Understand the physical and chemical properties of different types of plastics
  • Accurately record observations
  • Communicate their results and think critically about the potential implications of what they mean within the circular economy process, and the environment

Curriculum Connections

Science 20 Unit A: Chemical Changes
  • 20-A3.1k identify materials used in daily life that are based upon Alberta’s petrochemical industry and that involve changes in energy
Grade 9 Unit C: Environmental Chemistry
  • 3 - Analyze and evaluate mechanisms affecting the distribution of potentially harmful substances within an environment
Grade 9 Chemistry (C1.1, C1.2, C2.2, C2.3, C3.4)

Length of Activity

60 - 90 minutes

Materials List

  • Internet-enabled device 
  • Eco 360 notebook (we recommend asking learners to maintain a notebook for this program to write down reflections as they go through the program) 
  • Observation Tables Worksheet 
  • Solutions for Testing Density of Plastics Handout 
  • Information of Plastics Handout 
  • Samples of plastics coded with identifying numbers 1 through 6 
  • 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol 
  • Light corn syrup 
  • Water 
  • Metric or standard measuring spoon 
  • Four small, plastic cups or bowls 
  • Candle and matches for flame test 
  • Tongs 
  • Beaker of water 
  • Fine-tipped permanent marker 
  • Scissors 
  • Plastic Bag 
  • Reusable bag 
  • Scale 

Online Lesson Format