National Plastics Center & Museum


The National Plastics Center & Museum (NPCM) chronicles the scientific and engineering milestones in the history of the world's third largest industry. Housed in an early 1900s school building in the town where John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) was born, the NPCM was created on the initiative of a local section of the Society of Plastics Engineers. The NPCM meets its goal of enhancing the public's understanding of plastics by offering hands-on activities, demonstrations on the chemistry of plastics, displays of historical artifacts, and a plastics in medicine exhibit. The NPCM also has a discovery corner for kids and a Plastics Hall of Fame.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Chemical
Topic(s):Technology/Materials
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The first manmade plastic was unveiled by Alexander Parkes at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London. Dubbed Parkesine, it was an organic material derived from cellulose. The first important plastic, celluloid, was discovered around 1869 by American inventor John W. Hyatt and is a mixture of cellulose nitrate, camphor, and alcohol.
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