Chemistry - Materials: Plastics

In this MEL Academy lesson your children will:

  • learn what polymers and plastics are
  • prepare you own polymers
  • carry out diffusion experiment

Lesson time

8:00am   PST (San Francisco, Seattle, ...)
9:00am   MST (Phoenix, Denver, ...)
10:00am   CST (Chicago, Houston, ...)
11:00am   EST (New York, Toronto, ...)
4:00pm   GMT (London, ...)

Lesson duration: 45-55 minutes.

Prepare in advance

In this lesson, we will conduct several DIY experiments. Prepare in advance household materials shown below.

DIY Materials

  Potato Starch
  5-7 pieces of different plastics
  access to hot and cold water
  PVA glue
  borax solution or powder
  4 х glasses
  (optional) polystyrene or styrofoam powder
  (optional) tea strainer


Please, download and print this worksheet in advance. You’ll need to refer to it during the lesson.

MEL Experiment

If you are a subscriber of MEL Chemistry then you can conduct Plastics and Iodine experiment from the Chemistry of Materials chemistry set:

Chemistry of Materials


This lesson is presented by Daniel Sullivan:

Daniel Sullivan

Daniel Sullivan is a hugely enthusiastic and experienced ex-head of science with over 20 years of teaching experience. He is now running a science teacher training company and is looking forward to engaging with students once again.