Chemistry & Creation of Making Plastic Parts

ACP Lesson Plan 

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

Overview / Description:

In this unit, students will be able to explain and demonstrate how plastic parts are made and understand the chemistry involved in making different parts to meet different customer requirements. As a summative assessment, students will be creating and testing their own DIY injection molding machine.

Learning Goals/Objectives:

After completing this activity, students should be able to:

  • throughly explain the concept, process and chemistry of plastic injection molding
  • 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

Career Development

CD4: Students will identify and apply employability skills. \

CD4.a.6.h: Evaluate how self discipline, self-worth, positive attitude and integrity displayed in a work situation affect employment status. 

Wisconsin Standards for Technology and Engineering


MNF1.d: Select, use and identify manufacturing processes such as casting, forming, machining, joining, rapid manufacturing (CNC) and treating/coating.

MNF1.d.6.h: Demonstrate the interchangeability of parts increases the effectiveness of manufacturing processes.

Wisconsin Standards for Science

High School: Chemical Reactions



Cross-Cutting Concepts: 

Standard SCI.CC3: Students use science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and an understanding of scale, proportion and quantity to make sense of phenomena and solve problems.   

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 


Download: Mold_Injection_Research_Template.docx

Learning Activities:

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 #1

Teacher will conduct teacher directed lesson plan.

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

    b. Demonstrate/show various everyday items made by injection molding.

Teacher55 min.
Day #2

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 watch the video below on how to make a DIY injection molding machine:

3.  Students will plan and create their "DIY Injection Molding" machine. Students must also use the provided lab template to show what they did to get to the final result.

Teacher/Student55-110 min.
Day #3 & #4

     a. These will be a student-driven classes with teacher supervision.

     b. With the teacher's assistance, after safety instructions, students will build and test their creations.

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

Student/Teacher55-110 min.

Assessment: Observational & Project/Presentation

Formative Assessments - 

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. Examples of questions include:

Summative assessment - 


Students will give a brief report on planning and building their injection molding machine 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 choice 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.

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