Lessons from the Materials Science Classroom Kit
Here you will find all of the lessons included in our Materials Science Classroom Kits to help introduce students to the concepts of materials science.
Each Materials Science Classroom Kit comes with The Teacher's Manual, which is an illustrated guide with detailed instructions, learning objectives, demo delivery hints, discussion questions, and student handouts. You can find all of the individual lessons below or download the full Teacher's Manual PDF for free. Before performing any of the demonstrations, please pay special attention to our Safety Data Sheet. We want everyone to learn, have fun, and be safe!
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Hot or Not?
The objective of this lesson is to demonstrate how materials can be designed to withstand very high temperatures using a propane torch to heat one side of a refractory brick.
Candy Fiber Pull
During this demo, Jolly Ranchers® are melted in a beaker using a hot plate. Once the Jolly Ranchers® reach a molten state, candy fibers are pulled from the beaker, which simulates the production of glass-like fibers.
In this lesson, the piezoelectric effect of a ceramic disk and a polymer film is demonstrated through the use of LEDs. This demonstration helps to explain why this property exists in certain materials.
Shape Memory Alloys
The objective of this lesson is to learn how the motion of atoms under added heat can change the shape of metals. Using nitinol and steel wires, this demo will show students how a shape memory alloy can return to its original shape when heat is applied.
This lesson illustrates thermal shock using three different kinds of glass rods. Improving the thermal shock resistance of glass and ceramics can be achieved by improving the strength of the materials or by reducing its coefficient of thermal expansion and tendency for uneven expansion and contraction.
Glass Bead on a Wire
The purpose of this lesson is to examine the unique ability of glass to absorb other ions during thermal treatments. In this lab, students will use copper and nichrome wire to perform a borax bead test and determine what color beads are produced from each type of wire under different heating conditions.
This lesson provides students with an introduction to composites through designing and making reinforced Portland cement pucks and then testing their designs for strength through a drop test.
In this lab, students will see how thermal treatment of a normal steel bobby pin can influence its mechanical properties, especially strength, ductility, and deflection. This is shown using a control sample, an annealed sample, and a quenched sample.
How Strong is Chocolate?
In this lab, different types of chocolate bars are tested to demonstrate the influence of different microstructures on the flexural strength of the chocolate bars. One of our most popular lessons!
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