User login

Milli's Super Sorting Challenge

Source Institutions

    American Chemical Society

Add to listGo to activity
Milli's Super Sorting Challenge

In this activity on page 7 of the PDF, learners separate materials based on their special properties to mimic the way recyclables are sorted at recycling centers. Learners observe if various objects are attracted to a magnet, are attracted to a balloon, and float on (or sink in) water. Use this activity to discuss recycling as well as magnetism, static electricity, cohesion and density.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Plastic straw
  • Blunt-end scissors
  • Metric ruler
  • 1 latex balloon
  • 1 square of aluminum foil (5 x 5 centimeters, about 2 inches square)
  • 1 square of paper towel (5x5 centimeters, about 2 inches square)
  • 5 metal paper clips (small ones about 3 centimeters, about 1 inch in length)
  • 1 piece of windowscreening (20 x 30 centimeters, about 8 x 12 inches)
  • Rectangular cake pan (about 32 x 23 x 5 centimeters or 9 x 12 inches)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Office of Community Activities, American Chemical Society


  • All Rights Reserved, American Chemical Society,


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: