Science with Shields: Episode #65 – Plastic Milk

Science with Shields

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make plastic from milk!

What you need: 

  1. Milk
  2. Vinegar
  3. Microwaveable bowl
  4. Strainer
  5. Container
  6. Cookie Cutter

Instructions:

Pour one cup of milk into the microwaveable bowl, and put it into the microwave for 90 seconds. Carefully, have a parent or guardian remove the bowl from the microwave. Next, add four tablespoons of vinegar into the warm milk. Mix the milk and vinegar for about a minute. You’ll notice it will start to get a bit clumpy. Pour the milk and vinegar into your strainer over the new container. If it is still hot, have a parent or guardian help you get any excess milk mixture out of the strainer. You are now left with your mold-able plastic in the strainer! Take the mold-able plastic and use a cookie cutter to put it into a shape. Let it sit out for two days, and now you can make different things out of your plastic or draw on it!

Science: 

The plastic is made from a reaction between the warm milk and vinegar. When you mix the milk and vinegar together, the protein from the milk contacts the vinegar, but it does not mix together. What happens is that molecules are rearranged switching the liquid into a solid creating casein plastic. Casein is the mold-able plastic that is left in the strainer! Make sure to share your photos of how you decorate your plastic after it is ready to color on!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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