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Green chemistry

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels


As the population on Earth continues to grow, the demand and pressure on resources will increase. Whether it be energy, water, food or shelter, as a society we need to move to a more sustainable approach of the use of these resources.

In this program students will explore the chemistry of some common products such as cleaning agents and plastics including some sustainably resourced materials that can be used as alternatives.

In the first session, students learn about the difference between soaps and detergents and how they work. Students will extract Limonene from citrus and learn about its use as an alternative cleaning agent.

In the second session, students will investigate plastics, how they are produced, how they are utilized by society, how they are recycled and finally what alternatives there are to current plastics. Students will learn how to make bioplastics derived from renewable biomass sources such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, or microbiota.

Prior Knowledge

Some basic idea of atoms and the particulate nature of matter.

Key Learning Question

How can chemistry be used to find green solutions for cleaning agents and plastics?

Learning Intentions

In this program, students will:

  • Learn how soaps and detergents work and how they are produced
  • Examine alternative cleaning products
  • Understand how polymers are formed and some of the positive and negative aspects of their usage
  • Learn about alternate materials such as Bioplastics and how they are formed.


Students will:

  • Learn how soaps and detergents work through simple experiments.
  • Extract Limonene from citrus fruit
  • Investigate the origins, formation and disposal of plastics and the impact this has on the environment
  • Produce bioplastic in the laboratory

Victorian Curriculum


  • Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (VCSSU115)
  • The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (VCSSU116)
  • Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products and can occur at different rates; chemical reactions may be represented by balanced chemical equations (VCSSU125)

Design Technology

  • Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (VCDSTS054)
  • Explain how designed solutions evolve with consideration of preferred futures and the impact of emerging technologies on design decisions (VCDSTS055)

Learning Continuum

The following Learning Continuum is a guide for teachers to show the links between the programs Ecolinc offers onsite, online and through outreach. The Learning Continuum can be used to access Ecolinc resources to support the development of units of work.

Ecolinc Learn Online is an online learning management system offering interactive online courses for students and teachers. These courses can be undertaken either as a pre-visit, post-visit or stand-alone. Students are encouraged to do the pre-learning course before coming to Ecolinc for an onsite program.

Outreach programs are conducted by an Ecolinc education officer at your school. They are available to moderately disadvantaged primary schools in the Geelong, Ballarat and western suburbs areas (or within 100km radius from Bacchus Marsh)

Learn Online Pre-program:

Safe Labs


Green Chemistry