See if you have a wealth of knowledge about money in this quiz about polymer banknotes. Hopefully you can hit the jackpot with a 5/5! If you need a hint, grab a banknote and investigate for yourself.

#1. What are polymer banknotes made of?

A synthetic plastic. The plastic is made of long chains of chemicals called polymers (which means “many parts”). It has a distinctive feel and it will return back to its original shape if it’s scrunched up.

#2. True or False? Polymer bank notes were invented in Australia to combat counterfeiting.

True. Counterfeiting means to make a fake copy of something valuable. It was a massive problem in Australia and so the Reserve Bank of Australia asked CSIRO scientists to combat it. CSIRO scientists invented polymer banknotes with lots of anti-counterfeit measures including see-through windows!

#3. Which of the following features of polymer banknotes make them hard to fake?

There are lots of holograms on banknotes, including a different bird on each note that appears to fly. Raised ink, called intaglio print, can be felt by running a finger across the portraits. All banknotes have clear, plastic windows, too. All of these features are hard to copy.

#4. Which of the following is a downside of polymer banknotes?

Polymer banknotes are harder to fold compared to paper money. But that trade-off comes with lots of benefits. Polymer banknotes are waterproof and can’t be easily ripped. Polymer banknotes last at least 2.5 times longer than paper and they more recyclable than paper banknotes.

#5. Who is the Aboriginal Australian scientist and inventor on the $50 bank note?

David Unaipon was an Aboriginal inventor. He invented the shearing machine and the centrifugal motor. Mary Reibey was a convict who became a very successful businesswoman and is on the $20 note. Banjo Patterson was a poet and is on the $10 note. Dame Nellie Melba was a soprano and is on the $100 note.

Was I right?


Congratulations! You are a real science whiz!

Oh dear! Better brush up before the next quiz!

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