HOP Kits (Hands-On Plastics)

The HOP Kit and lesson plans are perfect to use before or after a PlastiVan® visit. The HOP Kit contains everything you need to implement a thorough and engaging investigation into the chemistry and the characteristics of plastics. Students learn first-hand that scientists and engineers have the ability to solve problems and produce products with plastics to meet the needs of people everywhere.

Each kit contains HDPE, LDPE, PS, PET, PP, and PVC pellets, as well as, HDPE flakes and one preform. These are packaged in clear polyethylene bags with labels for each resin type.

This kit is intended for students grades 5-12 to learn about plastics while in the classroom and at home. Teachers are given permission to reproduce any of this material for classroom use.


HOP kits are made possible in part by the Plastics Pioneers Association


Background Information

The History of Plastics
Science of Plastics and Challenges of Recycling


Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: Plastic Scavenger Hunt Part 1
Lesson 2: Plastic Scavenger Hunt Part 2
Students will collect and group plastics by Resin Identification Code (RIC) and physical characteristics and explore the process of recycling plastics. The HOP kit is NOT necessary for these two lessons.

Lesson 3: Life of a PETE Bottle
Explore the recycling process and learn about how recycled plastics can be remade into new products. The preform and HDPE flakes discussed in the video are part of the HOP Kit but not necessary for lesson 3.

Lesson 4: Find the Sinkers & Floaters
Lesson 5: Why Do They Sink & Float? Density testing of plastic resin. The HOP Kit is necessary for lessons 4 and 5.

Schedule a PlastiVan® visit with Julie Proctor at jproctor@4spe.org