Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions: Make Your Own Plastic

This Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions: Make Your Own Plastic activity & project also includes:

When you hear Leonardo da Vinci mentioned, chances are that you think of the Mona Lisa, or flying machines—but what about plastic? Learners blend heavy cream and vinegar over heat to replicate da Vinci's early organic plastic recipe.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Challenge learners to conduct research on the history of plastic
  • Use the plastic mixture as the basis for a class scupture project before a schoolwide art show
  • Feature the activity at a science fair or larger festival that celebrates science from the Renaissance
Classroom Considerations

  • Result is similar to da Vinci's original plastic, but does not use the same ingredients
  • Requires access to a stove; activity should only be done with adult supervision
Pros

  • Includes two common household products
  • A great way to connect social studies and science
Cons

  • Does not include historical context