CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Discovery Place, Charlotte's hands-on nature museum, will open a permanent plastics exhibit in early 1997 with a Polymer Maze and Polymer Pinball display. ``It's basically a fun type of exhibit to get people thinking about plastics,'' said John Austin, director of physical science at Discovery Place.
Spearheading the project was the Carolinas Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers, according to Austin. Industry contributed $50,000 for the display: the American Plastics Council contributed $25,000; the Carolinas Section and individual SPE members, $20,000; and the National Association for Plastic Container Recovery kicked in $5,000.
Austin said two SPE members were instrumental in the effort: Phil Shoemaker, sales manager of Rieter Corp., a pelletizer company in Spartanburg, S.C., and Jim Cunningham, president of product distributor Cunningham and Associates in Charlotte.
Austin said one goal will be to show visitors different plastics with unique properties.
In addition to the Maze and Pinball, visitors will use plastic to bend light and learn how light pipes illuminate a car's dashboard. In Polymer Race, ``wheels'' made from different plastics go at different speeds down an incline.