Brought to you by Chris Hamlett.

Separating Materials

How quickly can you separate your recycling?

Materials have many different properties which we can use to help separate them (imagine how long it would take to separate a full recycling bin using just your hands!). In this activity you can use density and magnetism to separate materials that you will often put in your recycling bin.

You can download a worksheet for the activity here and watch a supporting video here and why not challenge your friends to see who can separate a mixture of ten glass marbles, ten plastic bottle tops and ten metal bottle tops in the quickest time.

Equipment needed

  • Magnet
  • Sieve
  • A large bowl (or basin)
  • Metal (magnetic) bottle tops
  • Plastic bottle tops
  • Glass marbles
  • Water



 Cuts – from broken glass marbles or sharp edges to the metal bottle tops

Curriculum Links

Links to the school curriculum to be added shortly….


Relevant links and pages

  • Use our Recycling Scavenger hunt to investigate the materials in your recycling (and to find out if and how they can be recycled)