In the STEM Plastics course, students discover how the four disciplines connect as they convert plastics into finished products.


  • Monomers
  • Polymerization process
  • Chemical reactions
  • Elements
  • Atoms
  • Periodic table
  • Molecular weight
  • Covalent bonds
  • Chemical and physical properties


  • Windows-based graphical user interface
  • Injection molding machine
  • Vacuum forming machine


  • Design and development of parts and products
  • Design evaluation and design changes to improve products
  • Engineering design process


  • Units of measurement
  • Ratios and proportions


The purpose of the STEM Plastics course is to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate two processing methods used to convert plastics into finished products. Students will be challenged to design and prototype products by taking on the role of a plastic component/product designer. They must adhere to the specifications and constraints given and explore the chemistry of plastics in order to understand its qualities and be able to select the correct material and process required to produce specific products.

Upon completion of the STEM Plastics course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the two types of change in matter
  • Recognize the properties of polymers
  • Explain polymerization
  • Identify the different types of plastics and applications
  • Differentiate between thermoplastics and thermosets
  • Identify the structure of molds (or tools)
  • Explain the injection molding technique
  • Operate an injection molding machine
  • Discuss the vacuum forming process
  • Operate a vacuum forming machine
  • Apply the engineering design process


  • Multimedia presentation
  • MindSight installation and user guide
  • Injection molding machine
  • Vacuum forming machine
  • Chemistry set
  • Plastic vacuum forming sheets
  • Low density polyethylene pellets
  • Injection forming molds: screwdriver, key chain, spinning top, wheels
  • Vacuum forming molds: bird (small, medium, large), car, letters, bowl, helmet, horse, boat, ice cube dish
  • Pigment powder
  • Axels
  • Key chain beads
  • Screwdriver blades
  • Markers
  • Hand towel
  • Periodic table
  • Gloves
  • Scissors
  • C-clamps 2
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Flush cutters
  • Safety glasses
  • Hole punch
  • Hot pad
  • Shims

Talk to our team about this curriculum.

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