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Make some rubbery plastic Category: Science
Dated: 2011-11-05
Make some rubbery plastic at home from milk and vinegar. This experiment needs to be done on a stove. Check with an adult first, and get them to help you.     

Steps to be taken

1.    Pour the milk into the pan and place it on the stove over a medium heat. Heat until the milk just begins to bubble. Then quickly add the vinegar.
2.    Stir with your wooden spoon until the mix begins to thicken. If it starts to boil over, lower the heat a bit.
3.    Eventually a rubbery solid will form in the milk. Remove the pan from the stove and turn of the heat. Make sure you put the pan ion a heat proof surface.
4.    Leave the pan contents to cool, and then drain of the liquid. You’ll be left with a lump of real plastic! When it’s cold, wash it under running water.

How it happens?
The acid in the vinegar reacts with a chemical called casein in the milk. This makes the molecules ‘forget’ that they came from either the vinegar or the milk. Instead they join together in a different pattern to make the plastic. Most plastics today are made from chemicals found in oil and natural gas.
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  • 1 small carton milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon