Hello everyone, I hope you are all enjoying your home learning and time at home.
It was World Ocean Day this week and we have spent a lot of time thinking about the impact of plastic on our oceans.
Here are some activities that you can try at home…
- Fantastic Plastic
Materials have different properties that make them suitable for different uses. Plastic is very versatile, meaning that it can be used for lots of different things.
One of the properties that can be important in choosing a material is strength.
In this activity, you are going to build a really strong bridge, one with plastic and one with paper. You will investigate, how strong each material is.
- Waste plastic
- Waste paper
- Sticky tape may be needed to hold your bridge together, but make sure you use the same amount for each bridge
- Weights such as coins or building blocks
- Kitchen scales
- You are going to make your bridge between the seats of two chairs, about 40 cm apart. The bridge must not be fixed to the chairs. The bridge should stand on its own.
- Collect some paper and some plastic, about the same weight of each. If you want to be precise you can use kitchen scales to weigh these out
- Think about the design of your bridge. Make one design for the bridge that can be made out of plastic or paper using sticky tape
- Build two bridges using the same design. This will mean using the same amount of sticky tape on each too. The bridges will need to be big enough to support weights that you are using.
- Test the strength of each bridge by adding weights one at a time until each bridge collapses. If you don’t have weights, use everyday objects that are roughly the same size and weight, e.g. coins, building blocks or even potatoes!
- Record the weight at which each bridge collapses.
- I’d love to see what kind of bridge you built! Can you think of the forces that have affected your bridge as you’ve built it?
2. Slimy Chains (this requires an adult’s supervision!)
This activity is all about finding out about plastic and how it is made. You will make your own slime by adding contact lens solution and bicarbonate of soda to PVA (school) glue. This is a similar process to how plastic is made, where oil (a liquid) is turned into a solid through a chemical reaction, polymerisation.
To make your slime, you will need three ingredients PVA glue, contact lens solution and baking powder. You can also add some food colouring. You can adjust the units below based on the amount of glue you have.
- 100ml PVA (school) glue
- ½ tablespoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tablespoon contact lens solution (must contain either boric acid or sodium borate)
- Food colouring (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Stirring utensil
- Tablespoon for measuring ingredients
- Airtight container for storing
- Squeeze the contents of the glue bottle (100 ml) into a bowl. Add food colouring if desired.
- Add and mix in ½ tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda, but not baking powder) and stir with your stirring utensil.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of contact lens solution with your stirring utensil until combined. You can experiment with the amount of contact lens solution. The more you add, the thicker your mixture will become. The less you add, the slimier it will be. Your contact lens solution must contain boric acid and/or sodium borate for it to activate the mixture, check the ingredients list to be sure.
- When your slime begins to pull away from the bowl, you will then need to knead your slime to combine all the ingredients fully.
- Once made, keep your slime stored in an airtight container.
I would love to see what you have made or learnt, please share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org