Plastic Panic!

Elementary Middle School Nonformal
Investigation Stand-Alone Activity Exploration Station
Photo credit: Eric Baillies

A Grab and Go Teaching Kit

Model the journey water takes at a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) through a series of hands-on steps around a tabletop model. Learn about our microplastic pollution problem, and discover what happens to the pollutants as they enter and pass through a WWTP. The full lesson and activity cards are below and a kit with the tabletop model is available for loan. Fill out the form below.

Get the Guide!
Plastic Panic Guide first page thumbnail
You can view and download our PDF guide to the Plastic Panic Lesson:

Borrow the Kit:
Any adult resident in Wisconsin can loan the Plastic Panic Kit free of charge from the Wisconsin Water Library at UW-Madison. Find more information and request the Kit here


Developed and written by: Allison Bender (Wisconsin Energy Institute), Anne Moser (Wisconsin Sea Grant) and Derek Ho (UW–Madison Biological Systems Engineering). Design by: Chelsea Mamott (Wisconsin Energy Institute) and Yael Gen (Wisconsin Sea Grant). Reviewed by: Richard Mealy (WI DNR retired). This project was created in partnership with the Wisconsin Energy Institute and supported by a grant from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program.


Environmental Science

Sustainable Energy Systems

Microplastic pollution, wastewater treatment plants

15 minutes prep, 15-30 minutes for activity