Changing the perception of plastics one classroom at a time

Thank you to the SPE Detroit Section for a $60,000 donation to support the development of PlastiVideo™ resources. Through their generosity and the support of the SPE Automotive Division and the Plastics Pioneers Association, PlastiVan is able to offer virtual plastics education to students around the world with over 20 videos for middle and high school students which include comprehensive plastics and sustainability topics. All modules are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards so teachers can choose the most relevant resources for their classes.

These sponsors see the value in educating our youth about the benefits of plastics and our collective responsibility to be good stewards of the materials we use in our daily lives.

The PlastiVideo Program is:

  • Simple to access. Receive a link to use the PlastiVideo Program for 30 days.
  • High Quality. Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are part of each program with high quality videos.
  • Trusted and Proven. Over 132,000 students have been impacted by the PlastiVan Program since 2014.
  • Supplemental Materials. Supplemental materials are available with each module.

Multiple, short videos totaling approximately 140 minutes.

Supplemental materials to support the PlastiVideo Program.
Once you complete this form, an educator will contact you to complete the registration process.
30-day access to PlastiVideo is sponsored by grants and scholarships. All schools and teachers are welcome to apply for access to PlastiVideo. Check out our sponsors.
Anne Cowell holds a BA in Chemistry and an MA in Teaching. Previously she taught middle school science and most recently worked in synthetic carbohydrate chemistry at Indiana University. Through PlastiVan Anne enjoys showing students that science is a part of their everyday lives. She likes to put students in the role of a scientist where their thoughtful questions and creative ideas inspire her.
John Paul Dingens brings the PlastiVan program mostly to Texas. Working with sponsors he is proud to help strengthen connections between local students and industry in their communities. Having studied environmental science and policy, he is motivated by the belief that a more comprehensive understanding of polymer science to drive innovations is a viable route to meaningful progress in plastics and beyond.
Elizabeth Egan is a Packaging Engineering with an MBA. She worked for Dow Chemical in the Specialty Plastics, Consumer Products, and Automotive business units as an Engineer and Business Analyst. She serves on her local Board of Education and teaches piano and enjoys bringing PlastiVan into the classroom allowing her to share the exciting and diverse career opportunities in the plastics industry.
John Fellenstein runs STEM outreach for the College of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Akron. Previously he taught high school science. “The PlastiVan Program gives me many opportunities to interact with students, which is so much fun! I like sharing the science concepts along with career opportunities that are available in the plastics and polymer industries.”
Lynda Gomi has been an educator for 30 years and a recycler for over 50. Lynda has worked with students of all ages in both the US and Japan. She holds two master’s degrees but considers raising a daughter who became a polymer engineer as her crowning accomplishment. Lynda is excited to work with students of any age as they explore science and career options in the sciences with PlastiVan.
Briana Young is an alum of Ecotek Lab and a graduate of Central Michigan University. She has over 12 years of experience in research and innovation involving material science, environmental science and agricultural engineering. She has traveled internationally working on projects related to climate change and environmental conservation. Ms. Young has worked as a research fellow on material science and agricultural projects at Iowa State University and the University of Delaware.
Evan Morton is an alum of Ecotek Lab and a senior at Michigan State University majoring in environmental sustainability. He has over 8 years of research and innovation in material and environmental science and pollution avoidance. Mr. Morton is a researcher in plastics consumption at MSU’s Geocognition Laboratory and has traveled nationally and internationally meeting with stakeholders and community organizers on land and water conservation.
Mendy Mossbrook has over 24 years of experience in the Plastics Industry with numerous patents in the packaging sector. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering and an MBA. She works in the non-profit sector as an advocate and coach for educators and students and enjoys the opportunity to connect what children learn in school to exciting careers in STEM fields through the PlastiVan.
Mark Wolverton is a materials engineer with more than 40 years’ involvement in the plastics industry. PlastiVan allows him to foster enthusiasm for the development of plastic parts with the next generation. He has experience in product and materials development for the consumer electronics, automotive & transportation, defense & aerospace, personal care and medical industries. Mark is an Honored Service Member of SPE and a member of the Plastics Pioneers.
Eve Vitale, SPE Foundation Executive, was recruited in 2016 to expand the PlastiVan program. She holds a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in manufacturing engineering. She spent 8 months on the road delivering the program to thousands of students to find ways to increase its impact. She and her husband own an engineering consulting business specializing in plastics manufacturing and sustainability.
To extend the learning experience beyond the PlastiVideo Program, we have provided curated videos and relevant activities. Use in the classroom to prepare your students for the PlastiVideo Program or afterward to extend the learning. In addition, check out the HOP Kit lesson plans.

Natural Plastics

  • Plastics are Everywhere
  • The Games Plastics Play
  • The First Plastics
  • Macromolecular Theory

Synthetic Plastics

  • Where Does Plastic Come From?
  • Polymeric Structure
  • Biomimicry & Nylon
  • Thermoplastics & Recycling
  • Thermosets are Here to Stay

Processes & Material Science

  • What is Plastic Foam?
  • Thirsty Polymers
  • Building a Better Bouncer
  • Non-Newtonian Fluids
  • Slime

Take Action!

  • Mechanical Recycling
  • Marine Debris
  • Protect Your Watershed
  • Recycle Your Wrap

The Future of Plastics

  • Bioplastics
  • Transformational Recycling
  • What's a Circular Economy?
  • Sustainable Materials Management



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