Averil Macdonald
A great teachers resource

Fantastic Plastic

...or how to make your first £Million

What's the link between Lego™ blocks, zero pollution cars, disposable nappies, liquids that flow up hill, and false legs? How is this linked to the perfect recipe for slime? And how can you use all this to make a Million?

Over 45,000 young people have enjoyed this fascinating demonstration lecture.

The lecture is designed to match Science National Curriculum of Key Stage 4 and bring in elements of Enterprise. The show lasts 1 hour and includes loads of interesting demonstrations on. It can work with a large group – up to 400 if you have space, and it's free if you can provide and audience over 120 (year 10 and/or 11).

Resumé of the Show

After a brief overview of the great variety of physical properties of plastics that make them suitable for various intriguing and surprising applications, students are reminded of the basic concepts of solid, liquids and gases. From there, students are introduced to the idea of polymers consisting of long chain molecules. Polymers can exist as solid and liquids but often have properties of both (as in slime). Lively demonstrations show the effects of increasing the temperature, crosslinking the molecules, "tangling up" the polymer chains, and dissolving them in liquids. Some examples are given to show how by controlling what happens at the molecular level, the characteristics of the final material are determined.

For further details or to book a visit to your school, contact Averil Macdonald

Supported by University of Reading: completely free to schools within 2 hours drive of Reading.

Fantastic Plastic

A 1 hour demonstration lecture for GCSE covering polymers and enterprise! Possibly the most successful GCSE lecture in the UK and it can be free if your audience is big enough. Contact Averil Macdonald.


Thanks for a great lecture today. It was one of the best we have ever had. The girls were enthrawled and inspired. We would definitely like to book you again for next year.
Frances, Watford Girls School

Fantastic Plastic
Tricks and Recipes

If you want to try some of the tricks and demonstrations yourself you can download the recipes, instructions and videos of how it works here courtesy of the Physics Department University of Surrey