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The Newton – Ask a Scientist program would like to thank all of our students, teachers, scientists and other contributors for over 25 years of participation. We will be accepting questions up to February 15, 2015 and will be turning off this website March 1, 2015.


NEWTON Ask A Scientist is an online community for science, math and computer science teachers and students. NEWTON is operated by Argonne National Laboratory.

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NEWTON has been online since 1991 and receives millions of hits each month.

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This week's question was asked by Andrea in the U.S.A.:
Is there a way to break down the components of plastic completely back into their original form?
ASK A QUESTION Do you have a question that is not in the Archives? Then ask a question. We will send your question to the expert who can answer it best. We try to answer within one week. Please submit one question at a time.
The archives contain over 20,000 questions and answers from every country on the planet.
NEWTON focuses on questions that are not commonly found in libraries, reference books or textbooks. Hints on how to ask a question »
NEWTON TEACHERS Developed by teachers for teachers: view sample classroom projects, experiments, field trip ideas, science reference links, educational games and lesson plans.
COOK COUNTY NATURE BULLETINS The Cook County (Illinois) Forest Preserve District Nature Bulletins cover a wide range of nature and wildlife topics. They are excellent motivators for writing projects and science activities, and are appropriate for all ages.
OUR EXPERT STAFF Questions are answered by 92 volunteer scientists from all over the world with expertise in science, math and computer science. Contact us to become a volunteer scientist »

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

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Update: June 2012
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