European Researchers’ Night 2017

The 12th edition of the European Researchers’ Night, the European event dedicated to science communication, will take place in 22 European cities with more than 300 events, and will be coordinated by Frascati Scienza. On September 29th, 2017 Explora will open doors to children and adults for a “Made in Science” night dedicated to Science and Research. The event is intended to bridge the gap between researchers and society: getting the public familiar with scientific contents, which will improve everybody’s daily life through activities of research and experimentation, is also made possible through dissemination of up-to-date methods and applications, new stimuli and findings.

Plastic and Bioplastic: learn how to identify them” describes the two types of materials, so that they can be recycled and reused multiple times, developing the concept of circular economy in which waste is a resource: plastic packaging collected in plastic waste bins are mostly recycled, while biodegradable and compostable bioplastic packaging, collected in food waste bins, are turned into biogas e compost.

At 07:30 pm and 09:15 pm, the 4 workshops, each for a different age group, make children (aged 3-11 years) and their families experiment with the peculiar characteristics of these two materials:

  • Discover polymers – 7-11 years: A workshop that takes a journey into Chemistry to explore polymers, their shapes, characteristics and components. Thanks to Engineer Giampaolo Pellegatti, Plastics Europe.
    Admission-free workshop
  • The Plastic World – 3-5 years: What do you know about waste sorting? Have you heard about reuse of plastic waste? Let’s reuse it in a creative way with a hands-on activity to become familiar with the basics of plastic and understand what hides behind the production, transformation and recycling of plastics. A fun workshop on creative reuse based on the learning by doing approach, to find out about the characteristics and properties of this material, which is commonly used in our daily life and not always properly used. Through sensory experimentation you can learn the correct behaviours to follow to show respect for the environment and care for the planet. Thanks to Sabrina Lucibello, associate professor at the Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture of the Sapienza University of Rome, and coordinator of the Degree Course in Design.
    Worshop to be booked.
  • Valuable Plastic – 6-7 years: the workshop to unveil the secrets of plastic and learn how to recycle consciously. Grind, press, process, extrude, wind up, draw, and 3D print and find out how to collect, identify, re-use, recycle and make new objects from plastic packaging. The workshop takes place at “Valuable Plastic”, the first child-friendly interactive exhibit space in Italy that can get children to better know plastic in an informal way. The activity will help children tell the differences between PET for bottles and HDPE for containers and caps, grind them, reduce them in chips and press them to create a new creative object. Thanks to Engineer Antonio Protopapa, Director of Research and Development  Corepla, Consorzio Nazionale per la raccolta, il riciclo e il recupero degli imballaggi in plastica.
    Workshop to be booked.
  • Bioplastic – 8-11 years: What happens to fruit and vegetable waste? Did you know it can be very useful for all of us? Find out with an activity to experiment with the possible uses of food waste to make bioplastics, exploring its potential, from a sensory point of view as well as its many uses. With the help of the Researchers you can learn about the characteristics of food waste and understand how it can be turned into a resource. By observing and using some samples of bioplastics, you can learn about their qualities (colour, smell, softness and more) and compare them with the “old” plastic.
    Thanks to Sabrina Lucibello and Cecilia Cecchini, associated professors at the Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture, Sapienza University of Rome and coordinator of the Degree Course in Design, thanks to Carlo Santulli, associate professor at the School of Architecture and Design SAAD University of Camerino; thanks to Chiara del Gesso, a student expert on beer waste, expert on bioplastics, and Marika Troiano, a student expert on the production of “buttons” in bioplastic. Workshop to be booked. 

The project is funded by the European Commission within the MSCA-NIGHT-2016/2017 Call (Grant Agreement No. 722952), and is part of a series of events taking place from September 23rd to September 30th, 2017 focusing on the European Week of Science, an initiative that, through the years, has become a reference point for the world of Science and the public.

In collaboration with Corepla, Plastics Europe and Sapienza University of Rome.


Age: 3-11 years
When: September 29th, 2017, at 07:15 pm and at
How to attend: Booking is required to be admitted to Explora free of charge. Booking will be available from September 18th.
Access to workshops to be booked is limited; booking can be done at the museum within the first 30 minutes after visit starts.