The PlastiVan™ Program is a great way to WOW and excite young people about the science and the vast opportunities the plastics industry has to offer.  The PlastiVan™ program travels to schools and companies throughout North America, educating people of all ages about plastics chemistry, history, processing, manufacturing, sustainability and applications.


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A hands-on science and technology program that excites middle school, high school students and the general public about the vast opportunities the plastics industry has to offer. The PlastiVan™ Program travels to schools and companies educating people of all ages about the chemistry, history, processing manufacturing, sustainability and application of plastics. The program is easily integrated into school curricula. PlastiVan™ provides sound science and educational programs which spark scientific curiosity in students while increasing their knowledge of the contribution plastics make to modern life; encouraging them to seek careers in engineering.

 For more information about the PlastiVan Program, contact Eve Vitale at or +1 810.814.6412.

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The PlastiVan™ Program Visits One School Per Day

Middle School Lab

5 groups per day, ages 12-14 - Maximum of 40 students per group (class)

The most popular program; this fun learning experience  introduces students to polymers and plastics and involves the students in experiments that will pique their interest in science and technology.

High School Lab

5 groups per day, ages 15-18 or adult - Maximum of 40 students per group (class)

An advanced lab experience where students delve into the chemistry, history, and sustainability issues of polymers and plastics and how they are designed to have distinct properties. Students are also introduced to a wide array of career opportunities as well as college programs that focus on plastics engineering.

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Hands On Chemistry Curriculum

The Students have no flammable or poisonous materials in the “hands-on” kits. 

 Standard lab procedures should be followed at all times:

  • Keep fingers and pencils out of their mouths
  • Follow directions
  • Wear chemical splash goggles, when necessary

Any latex allergies should be reported to instructor before the start of the program. If individuals are allergic to latex they may NOT be able to participate in all the experiments.


Photo Gallery


Thank you letter from Professor Majid Sarmadi, UW-Madison
On behalf of our program, students, instructors, and myself I would like to express my deepest appreciation to you for the excellent PlastiVan Outreach Education Program you conducted for our PEOPLE Students (for more info please visit on June 29 and 30th. Your demonstrations and enthusiastic presentation sparked scientific curiosity in students and provided information about the role of plastics in our modern life. It was music to my ear when students stayed longer and asked questions and inquired about careers in this field. As you know a couple of students requested a copy the video of your presentation. One student said “I want to show the video to my parents to show them why I am excited to go to into this field”. The impact that you made on 80 disadvantage students from southern Wisconsin, eight undergrad students as their chaperons and eight instructors is unbelievable! Everyone loved your program!

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Plastic Pioneers Association, the SPE Milwaukee Section Education Foundation, the SPE Foundation, and the SPE International for their generous support of this important educational program. I look forward to seeing you present to our students next year.


Majid Sarmadi
Ph.D. Rothermel Bascom Professor
Textile Science Design Studies Department
School of Human Ecology Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies
Professor Materials Science Graduate Program

Thank you letter to the SPE PlastiVan™ program from Delta College for our participation in the 2015 Dow Great Lakes Bay STEM Festival

Rolf Tremblay
Goodman Middle School

I want to express my sincere thanks to both of you for bringing the PlastiVan program to my students at Goodman Middle School. There was quite a buzz when students came to class on Wednesday. That showed that the presentation made a real impression on the kids. They had a variety of questions stemming from the demonstrations and the urethane "mushrooms" were quite a hit.

The energy and enthusiasm you put into your presentations are amazing and enviable. It was a great day!

Matthew Hooper
WHS Science Department, Chemistry

"Thank you again for a great set of presentations! My students were engaged and still raving about it days later."

Nichole Trzasko
Biology Teacher, Clarkston Community Schools

"We have heard such wonderful feedback from students and teachers about your program, thank you so much!"

Elizabeth Egan

"PlastiVan has been nothing less than rewarding to the students and teachers I have served this year and to me! Feeling blessed that I can share this wonderful program!"

Letter from Rosemarie Burger (Stonington HS) to Luann Gupta (Davis Standard)

Letters from students at Hillcrest Middle School

Media Mentions

Davis-Standard connects with Westerly, Stonington students
By Anna Maria Lemoine, The Westerly Sun, Staff Writer

"It's wonderful to see corporations invest in their local communities," Rosamarie Burger, a chemistry teacher at Stonington, said. "Students learned how plastics are made and saw demonstrations of polymer production."

Just one word: plastics
By Lee Howard, The Day (

The entertaining presentation, sponsored by the plastic extrusion company Davis-Standard just down the road, that was repeated at Westerly High School, was meant to introduce students to the possibility of a career in plastics — and to show how much fun working with the material can be.

"This is the coolest thing we've done all year," said Casey Williams, a Stonington High senior, after the class was over.

Getting to know the company, and students, next door
By Bill Bregar, Heavy Metal (PlasticsNews Blog)

Plastic Success!