As students attempted to put a skewer through an inflated balloon without popping it at Pawcatuck Middle School, there were some loud bangs but also sounds of excited success. "That is so cool," one student called out. How did that work? It works by first putting hand lotion on the skewer, and first entering the strongest part of the balloon near the not -- an area where moving one of the polymer chains that make up the plastic balloon does not mean it deflates but there are enough to take its place after the skewer enters. That was one of the many questions answered when the National Plastics Center brought its PlastiVan lab to school. The center will also visit Mystic Middle School and Westerly Middle School.These visits were sponsored by extrusion machinery supplier Davis-Standard LLC, according to the story. Sandy Whewell, the company's marketing coordinator, told the paper that the company plans to sponsor annual PlastiVan visits to local schools. "We would like to introduce students to the importance of plastics and maybe inspire a career in plastics or engineering," Whewell said. Hats off to Davis-Standard, and to all the PlastiVan sponsors, for their role in bringing this program to the schools.
On the road with PlastiVan
The Westerly, R.I., Sun newspaper has a nice feature today on the National Plastics Center's PlastiVan program. The story is the result of a PlastiVan visit to a local middle school.
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