The Materials Science Classroom Kit contains 5 lessons that are designed for the teacher to perform with assistance from students. Demo lessons included:
1. Hot or Not: a ceramics demo that illustrates that materials can be designed to withstand very high temperatures by using a ceramic refractory brick to simulate the behavior of a space shuttle tile as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere.
2. Candy Fiber Pull: a ceramics demo that demonstrates the unique properties of glass by examining the solid-liquid and liquid-solid transitions of a glass-like system by melting and cooling Jolly Ranchers.
3. Piezoelectric Materials: a general demo that demonstrates the piezoelectric effect that many materials exhibit by examining a piezoelectric ceramic disk and polymer film.
4. Shape Memory Alloys: a metals demo that indicates how motion of atoms under added heat can change the shape of metals by subjecting a shape memory alloy wire and a typical metal wire to thermal treatments.
5. Thermal Shock: a glass lesson that demonstrates the two most important properties that determine resistance to thermal shock in glass.
The kit contains 4 lessons that are designed for students to perform in small groups. Lab lessons included:
1. Glass Bead on a Wire: a ceramics lab that demonstrates that glass can be a “phase of matter” rather than a particular material and examines the ability of glasses to absorb other ions during thermal treatment by having students perform a borax bead test.
2. Engineered Concrete: a composites lab that demonstrates how preparation (design) of a material can affect the final material properties by having students “engineer” a plain Portland cement paste and a cement paste containing a reinforcement item of their choice.
3. Thermal Processing of Bobby Pins: a metals lab that demonstrates the difference that processing, especially thermal processing, can have on the properties of a material by having students anneal and quench bobby pins and test them in flexure against a control bobby pin.
4. How Strong is Your Chocolate?: a general lab that demonstrates how material properties, such as microstructure, can influence the strength of a material by having students test the ‘strength’ of different types of chocolate bars.
We are pleased to provide some additional lessons for your use in the classroom:
Lessons Using Liquid Nitrogen — Three lessons are designed for those teachers who are able to obtain liquid nitrogen.
1. Fun with Liquid Nitrogen
3. Cold and Hot Processing of Materials
Lessons on Ceramics Concepts — Three lessons are designed specifically to introduce
students to the concepts of ceramic structure, processing, and properties.
1. The Building Blocks of Ceramics
2. Sintering: Grain Boundaries, Interfaces, and Porosity
3. Slip Casting