THIS IS MY STUDENTS FAVORITE LAB!! I have high-schoolers come back to visit me who ask, "Do you remember when we did Shrinky Dinkies?? It was SOOO GREAT! and now I'm in the Advanced Science Program at the Academy!" I have always done this during my Thermal Energy Unit, but it can also be done for Physical & Chemical Changes-- or as a review of both.
Use PLASTIC #6, or Polystyrene,(available in craft stores and online) to make creative objects (VERY STEAM) which magically (chemical change) shrink and become thicker, almost like glass, when THERMAL ENERGY is transferred through them --in a toaster oven. (NO OPEN FLAME!)
As always, this LAB follows the Scientific Method to explore BOTH how Thermal Energy Transfers in the oven, as well as the Physical and Chemical Changes which take place. Students will measure and describe the plastic before and after the "cooking process," and then, decide whether it is Physical or Chemical Change--using my NO FAIL METHOD. Lastly, they Draw Conclusions which include high-order thinking skills and application to the REAL WORLD. (I have included Hyperlinks to some COOL info regarding REAL SCIENCE being done right now with Plastic#6-- based on those Scientist's memories of their favorite TOY, and its weird folding and unfolding properties when HEAT is applied. The first link is a must-see VIDEO, which shows a Transformer-like ROBOT unfolding/folding out of Polystyrene!) I have also included a sheet detailing the CHEMISTRY of Shrinky Dinkies, or Polystyrene.
As always, my Shrinky Dinkies LAB is NOT Science-LIGHT, not cutesy fluff, but REAL SCIENCE Analysis and Content--that doesn't require a ga-zillion copies. (This LAB has a 3 page Lab-sheet for the students, which can be printed on one page, back/front, two(2) to a page printing- folded like a Minibook.)
Thank you for your interest and possible patronage! I have included my Science Grading Rubric for FREE--which can help make your Classroom PAPERLESS!! Let me know how you like this LAB in "Comments," please! (I think it gives you TPT points when you Comment FYI)
If you EVER have any kind of problem, please leave me your email, and I'll send you the remedy and possible FREEBIES for your trouble! I am posting new things from my 20+ years in the classroom all the time, so please check back soon, or simply follow me-- for automatic emails when I upload something new! I hope I have helped you ROCK THE SCIENCE in your classroom!
Jana--Science Rocks with Smalley!