RAFT Activity Kit: Static Merry-go-Round

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Plastic to art that’s fantastic!

With Valentine’s Day round the corner, one of RAFT’s upcoming weekend workshops – ‘Shrink Art Fun’ shows you how to recycle plastic into awesome shrink art! This year learn how to make some meaningful gifts using donated plastic material, available at RAFT in the form of trays and take-out containers, thus preventing them from ending up in a landfill. 

Shrink plastics encourage creativity, and can be used to supplement a variety of classroom activities.  Students can create models, manipulatives, and displays. They can make maps, pins, book report characters, and even cards! 

But there is also a science behind this hands on art form! Says Instructor Georgina Patterson, who has been in the education field for 40 years, “The science behind the shrinkage process is a chemistry lesson in itself, and the excitement young children get when they watch the plastic change size in the oven is worth the effort!”

The base material consists of thin, flexible polystyrene plastic (#6) sheets.  Prior to heating, the plastic sheets can be colored with felt-tip pens, acrylic paint, colored pencils and cut into shapes.  When heated in an oven or with a heat gun, the plastic shrinks by about two-thirds and becomes thicker and more rigid while retaining the colored design.


The commercial version of this creative art (Shrinky Dinks) was invented in 1973 by two Wisconsin housewives as a Cub Scout project, and it has continued to be popular with one and all ever since. Recently, Professor Michelle Khine of UC Irvine used Shrinky Dinks to create tiny structures in the area of medical research!

Want to create Shrink Art magic?

Do you want to dabble in this ‘magical’ hands on activity that changes plastic to art? Are you a science educator interested in combining Chemistry and Art for a fun filled educative classroom session?  Do you want to experiment and ‘play’ with your peers in a workshop-setting? Sign up today for the ‘Shrink Art Fun’ workshop. Click here for more information.

Experienced in Shrink Art? Share your ideas and inputs with fellow educators here. Click on ‘comment’ below to share your thoughts!

3 comments:

  1. Plastics are proven to be harmful to the environment, especially to the ozone layer. Recycling and making use of them, instead of having them burnt and thrown away, is a great solution. Simple things like this can mean a lot in making the world a better place.

    Respectfully,
    Jeleryl Comisky

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeleryl, Thanks for your comment. We, at RAFT, think so too! Most of our hands-on products are creatively repurposed from donated materials...you can make a harmonica from ice-cream sticks or a shake table to teach seismic activities with files folders and plastic bottle caps. For more green educational ideas log onto www.raft.net

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  2. it was said, Henry Ford predicted that his test car, made of plastic body, corrugated plastic sheets

    ReplyDelete