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360Science™ blends the best of student-engaging digital content with easily adaptable hands-on labs to offer your students a uniquely comprehensive learning experience.
In this lab experience, students carry out an investigation to chemically recycle cups made of polylactic acid (PLA) via depolymerization. First, they hydrolyze the PLA using heat and a strong base in solution. Next, they acidify the resulting mixture to generate a lactic acid solution that may be used as a cleaning product. Editable, differentiated instructions range from a time-sensitive prescriptive lab to full open inquiry, and robust online videos and content—including a virtual reality (VR) simulation—help students prepare for and better understand the labs they’re conducting.
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360Science™: How to Recycle Polylactic Acid Plastics
Concepts: Green chemistry, polymers, acid–base chemistry, hydrolysis reactions
Outcomes: In the short version of this investigation, students will transform a waste cup made of polylactic acid (PLA) into a keychain or pendant by melting and depolymerizing the cup. In the guided, open, and advanced versions, students will conduct an experiment to depolymerize a PLA cup via hydrolysis. They will obtain a clear aqueous solution of lactic acid upon acidification of the hydrolysis product, with a pH of 4–5.
Associated Phenomena: Green Processes
Our 1-year option provides access to all digital content for one year plus lab supplies for a single class of 30 students. Our 3-year option extends access to digital content to three years, with a 30% discount on refill supply kits years 2 and 3.
What is Flinn 360Science™?
We’re introducing a whole new way to teach experiential science! We’ve taken a hard look at science study from all perspectives and, thanks to the feedback of thousands of teachers nationwide, we’ve created a way to make it easier to provide personalized instruction while delivering the kind of lab experiences your students truly need.
Our new and comprehensive learning solutions are designed to bring science to life by giving you all the tools you need to incorporate more (and effective) hands-on learning in your classroom or lab. 360Science allows you to provide your students with the support they need to make real-world connections to key scientific principles and help make those abstract concepts concrete.
Every 360Science lab solves the most common challenges educators face in bringing more hands-on science to their students—from not having enough time to matching the right level of challenge for students’ abilities to providing appropriate background content, safety techniques, assessments and more.
Enable student-driven, blended learning through a unique combination of leveled lab instructions supporting prescriptive, guided- and open-inquiry lab exercises (see PDF resource for specific details) with robust digital content, such as videos and carefully curated Open Educational Resources (OER)—along with virtual reality and simulation exercises. From editable, digital instructions to assessments and alignment with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we have everything you need to improve mastery, remove the intimidation factor and foster your students’ natural curiosity.
HS-ESS3-4: Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.