June 20

Making plastic from milk!

Yes – you heard it right! If this sounds far fetched, you may be surprised to learn that from the early 1900s until about 1945, milk was commonly used to make many different plastic ornaments. This included buttons, decorative buckles, beads and other jewellery, fountain pens, the backings for hand-held mirrors, and fancy comb and brush sets. Milk plastic (usually called casein plastic) was even used to make jewellery for Queen Mary of England! Look what happened when we made our own casein plastic out of warm milk and white vinegar! The mix has also been described as a form of butter-milk, which is very useful in cooking!

 

June 5

The Green Waste Kings (and Queens!) of St Dominic’s PS

Grade 5/6G perform a vital daily chore in our great school – we are the collectors of all the green waste that is disposed of by the school community each day!

Each morning a group of students from 5/6G distributes the collection buckets to each of the 12 classes of St Dominic’s Primary school. At recess and lunchtime each St Dominic’s student is encouraged to put any apple cores, banana peels or any other ‘green’ fruit or vegetable material into their respective buckets and then after the lunch play is over, to return the bucket to a pre-ordained collection area.  The Green Waste monitors then weigh each bucket and record the details on a Collection template so that at the end of each week they can calculate how many kilos have been collected by each class and then ultimately, by the whole school community. The class that has collected the greatest amount of ‘legitimate’ green waste (ie without whole fruit or unnecessary rubbish included!), wins that weeks laminated Green Waste certificate, which is announced at the following Monday assembly to a great fanfare! Whichever class collects the most certificates for the term has a school funded class party provided for them…!! On average, about 50 kilograms of waste is collected weekly and processed in our series of compost bins at the rear of the school. The rich, organic material that is eventually produced from the composting process is then used on our school garden beds. It is an exhausting labour intensive process, but one that we all agree is very worthwhile. Well done students of Grade 5/6G!