PlastiVan®: changing the perception of plastics one classroom at a time

 
 
Sponsors
Testimonials
Pre- and Post-Visit Activites
Hands-On Plastics™ Kit
 
 

Through lively demonstrations and hands-on activities, the PlastiVan® Program is designed to excite students about opportunities in science and engineering within the plastics industry. Students are educated about the chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, and sustainability of plastics and how the science and real-world applications relate to their everyday lives. PlastiVan® provides sound science and educational programs which spark scientific curiosity in students while increasing their knowledge of the contribution plastics make to modern life; encouraging them to seek careers in engineering.

 

PlastiVan® educators are skilled in tailoring the presentation to meet the needs and grade-level expectations of each classroom and teacher. The program is easily integrated into school curricula. A PlastiVan® visit typically consists of 5 classes/day for up to 40 students/class or is individually designed for STEM and science fairs.

 

To request the PlastiVan® Program or more information, contact Julie Proctor at jproctor@4spe.org

 

Curriculum Sheets

Grade School

Middle School

High School

 

Companies that sponsor PlastiVan® nurture the development of their future workforce by opening the minds of students to careers in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM), subjects that are utilized on a daily basis in the plastics industry.

 
 

Plastic plays a vital role in transportation, health care, agriculture, and electronics—and almost all other industries. In the United States the industry is experiencing a serious shortage of skilled workers. As the plastics industry continues to thrive, it needs creative, bright, and passionate new minds to steer its course. PlastiVan® works to bring those concepts to life for students.

 

Plastics companies and other organizations—such as trade schools and community colleges—are encouraged to introduce their community to the marvels of plastics by sponsoring a visit from the PlastiVan®. Find more sponsorship information here.

 

"THANK YOU for bringing the PlastiVan® program to Clarkston Junior High. The students were interested and engaged the whole time. We as teachers were also very excited as we discussed new ways to integrate the concepts into our curriculum."

- CJHS 8th Grade Science Teacher

 
 

PlastiVan® FAQs

PlastiVan® is a national education outreach program conducted by the SPE Foundation. The program is available throughout the United States educating students, teachers, and the general public about the chemistry, history, processing, applications, and environmental issues of plastics. The PlastiVan® program travels to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about plastics chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and applications.
Our experienced educators will tailor the program to the meet the grade level of the students. The program can be geared to grades 2-12. It is a hands-on science and technology program that excites students of all ages. Find an overview of the program for the following grade levels:
Our tagline is "changing the perception of plastics one classroom at a time." It is surprising how naive students are regarding the presence of plastics in their life. We discuss how ubiquitous plastics are and that it is not that plastics are bad but rather the end-of-life disposal that needs to change. We show them during the course of the class how plastics improve their life in many areas, such as, medical, automotive, health and safety, and packaging. We also discuss best practices for recycling plastics.
We promote the plastics workforce at all levels: including trade, manufacturing, sales, and engineering. We make a point of investigating what programs are in the vicinity and promoting those programs as well as others across the country.
We provide the school teacher with resources before and after the visit to use in the classroom and to send home with students. Teachers can explore pre- and post-visit activities at www.TeachingPlastics.org. We pique the students’ interest initially and open the door for their classroom teacher, industry and higher education to continue the exploration.
The cost for one educator to visit a school or an event is $1750 per day. This includes one educator teaching a maximum of 5 classes of 40 students a day (200 students total). The educator will bring all necessary supplies.
Historically, PlastiVan® was an actual van but now we fly and drive all over the United States. In 2017, 13 states and 142 separate schools and colleges were impacted by the PlastiVan® Program. A total number of 20,702 middle school, high school, and STEM festival participants were impacted by PlastiVan® in 2017.
Scheduling is at least 4 weeks in advance but our calendar fills up fast so earlier is better. We can schedule one year in advance.
 
Contact Julie Proctor at jproctor@4spe.org for additional information or to start the conversation about scheduling PlastiVan® visit(s).
The foundation looks at local industry and local SPE sections, and with your help (and contacts) we can try to secure matching funds. This is a joint effort between your group and the SPE Foundation.
We are always excited to work with a particular company to bring PlastiVan® to a school of your choice. Many companies sponsor a visit and then are present at the visit to inform students about the opportunities close to their home. Find more sponsorship information here.
 
Contact Julie Proctor at jproctor@4spe.org for additional information or to start the conversation about sponsoring PlastiVan® visits.



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