I always tell my students that fail is not a bad word.  Instead of getting upset and giving up when we fail, we need to learn from our mistakes and keep trying.  This weekend was a perfect example of failure in action.

I wanted to try making cell shrinky dinks with my 6th graders, and had come across some instructions online for making homemade shrinky dinks.  Apparently #6 plastic, often used for deli containers and the like, is supposed to be an acceptable substitute for the brand name plastic.  Since my Sam’s Club did not have deli containers, I decided to try with #6 plastic plates instead.

First step, grab some sharpies and design the cell on the plate.  I decided to try an animal cell.

IMG_20151004_131926724

Next step, into a 350 degree oven.   I lined a pizza pan with parchment paper and stuck it in.

IMG_20151004_132114272

After a moment or two, the plate began the classic shrinky dink twist and morph.

IMG_20151004_132203298

One problem…as it twisted, the softened plastic adhered to itself and couldn’t unflatten!

IMG_20151004_132419154

I tried to separate and flatten it by hand (wearing work gloves!), but no luck.

Round two!

OK, maybe the way the plate lies on the pan affects it.  The first one went in face up, so the second one went in face down.

IMG_20151004_132523096

It started out much better, with only a little lifting…

IMG_20151004_132631397

But soon the same problem appeared.

IMG_20151004_132707590

Round 3!

Hmmm…maybe it’s the ridged edge of the plate that is the problem.  Let’s try cutting that off and using a perfectly flat piece.

IMG_20151004_133114701

Into the oven…

IMG_20151004_133228927

Uh oh, failed again!

IMG_20151004_133407170

At that point, I had some very lovely suncatchers, but no successful shrinky dinks.  Still not giving up – my next step is to hit ShopRite for some deli containers and try with thinner plastic.  Perhaps it’s the thickness of the plastic that caused the warping issue.  I’ll keep you posted!

IMG_20151004_133608324

Here’s a short video of the shrinking in action.

%d bloggers like this: