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Plastics, the great opportunity of the future


Thomas Schmidt, a former Olympics Champion at slalom canoe, met ten schools in an online chat with the topic “Plastics, the performance materials”. The participating schools got answers to their questions on the contribution of materials to the performances in sport and why plastics are considered the great opportunity as materials of the future.

The chat took place on the FuturEnergia website on 2 December 2008. The participating schools were located in nine countries - Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia - while the guest came online from Germany.

Thomas Schmidt went to the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney and won the race with an outstanding performance. He also went to the Olympic Games in Athens where he came on the 5th position. He works as an engineer in the aerospace industry and is involved in the design of light weight composite structures.

The chat guest covered a large range of questions, from the impact of plastics in our daily life to the progress that the plastic industry has made to date in terms of its contribution to energy saving and therefore to minimise climate change. During the chat Thomas Schmidt stated: "The more I get into plastics and especially the performance materials like composites I see the great opportunity for the material in the future".

Thomas Schmidt in front of his computer in Germany, while answering students' questions

The chat session closed with a question that Thomas Schmidt posed to the participants in the Energy is our Future (FuturEnergia) school programme. He asked them: "What role do plastics play in your everyday life?". If you like to answer the question, please email it to Petru Dumitru to: futurenergia@eun.org  

The 3rd chat session with FuturEnergia is scheduled on 12 January 2009 and will be hosted by Averil MacDonald (the UK), an educational consultant involved in promoting science and engineering through various media. The chat will focus on the benefits of plastics.

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