Welcome to the Teaching Resource Center!

Here you will find all of the lessons included in our Materials Science Classroom Kits, Mini Materials Kit, and bonus lessons and classroom posters to help introduce students to the concepts of materials science.

Each Material 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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Lessons from the Material Science Classroom Kits

Space shuttle

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 Pull

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.


Piezoelectric Materials

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.

What is shape memory alloy?

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.

Thermal Shock

Thermal Shock!

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

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.

Concrete Puck(2)

Engineered Concrete

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.

Bobby Pins

Thermal Processing

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!

Lessons from the Mini Kit

What is fiber optics?
The Science of Silly Putty
What is fluorescence?
How are glass fibers made?
Does heating a nail make it harder?
Magic color beads and UV light

Download Free Classroom Posters

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