Chemistry & Creation of Making Plastic Parts

ACP Lesson Plan 

Chemistry of Making Plastic Parts
Trevor Derksen
Subject(s)Chemistry & Shop Classes
Grade Level(s):
11th & 12th
Total Time:
4-55 min. Classes

Overview / Description:

     Students will be able to explain and demonstrate how plastic parts are made and the chemistry involved in making different parts to meet different customer requirements. These resources fall into academic and the career domains.

Guidance Narrative

Learning Goals/Objectives:

     After completing this activity, students should be able to throughly explain the concept, process and chemistry of plastic injection molding as well as demonstrate the process using a "Makerbot" or other similar machine.

Workplace Readiness Skill: (place an X in front of all which apply)

X     Social Skills  X Communication 
 X  Teamwork     X    Critical Thinking
 X  Attitude and Initiative  X  Planning and Organization
 X  Professionalism    Media Etiquette

Content Standards

Common Career Technical Standards

Standard: 4C3, 4C3.b 

Standard: CD4, CD4.a 


High School: Chemical Reactions



Cross-Cutting Concepts: 

Patterns (HS-PS1-2 & 5)

Energy & Matter (HS-PS1-4 &7)

Stability & Change (HS-PS1-6)

Disciplinary Core Ideas:

 PS1.B,  ETS1.C, & PS1.A 


Short video on plastic injection molding:

Short video on another type of injection molding using air:

Short videos on emerging plastic part creation using light, oxygen & liquid plastic resin: (1:01 min.) (24:30 min.)

Link to article on understanding how polymer viscosities flow:

Short video on a 3-D printer that could be in your classroom: 

Research Homework & Lab

Download: Chemistry_of_Plastic_Mold_Injection_fu3JrkW.docx

Learning Activities:

1) Teacher will conduct teacher directed lesson plan during class Day #1.

            a. Describing what plastic injection molding is and briefly explain how parts are made.

            b. Can demonstrate/show various everyday items made by injection molding.

2) During class Day #2-#3, Teacher will start shifting from teacher directed to teacher guided session by helping students to start and finish their machine project research time and assignment. 

            a. Have students complete the research homework. (Linked under "Research Homework") 

            b. Have students then research how to make a DIY injection molding machine and have them plan and create their "DIY Injection Molding" machine. Students must also use the provided lab templet to show what they did to get to the final result.

Video on how to make a DIY Injection Molding Machine w/Hot Glue

3) During the last two (2) Class Days #3 & #4:

     a. This will be a student driven class with teacher supervision.

     b. With the teachers assistance. After safety instructions, students will build, & test their creation.

     c. After teacher approval & additional safety instructions, students will make their designs using hot glue or material of teachers choosing.


1. Along the way the teacher will use observational checks as well as homework/lab checks to ensure that students are on track to complete this project on time.

2. Students will be asked periodic questions so that they can show understanding of the material they researched as well as be able to explain what is going on at different points in the building process.

WHO (T=Teacher Focus Lesson; WG=Whole Group\; SM=Small Group; I=Independent)

Learning Activity Task                                                WHO is responsible
for this step?
Approximate time
for task
Day #1Teacher55 min.
Day #2 & #3Teacher/Student55-110 min.
Day #3 & #4Student/Teacher55-110 min.

Assessment: Observational & Project/Presentation

Wrap-Up: Students will then give a brief report and show the class their final product.

Extension Activity (for intervention or enrichment):

IEP/504 Students: Depending on their level of proficiency, students can create a report/powerpoint/ or work alone to build a machine with extended time.

Higher-Level Student: These student can be tasked with making more complicated injection molding machine to create a more detailed final product.

All Students: Can/will be tasked with completing a project of either a simple process machine, a more complicated machine or a paper, a different but similar project, or a powerpoint explaining the processes involved.


See all attachments and videos above

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