Project Description

Material Science

Explore the world around you – sort, classify and test the physical properties of natural and processed materials. Discover how materials can change physically as well as chemically. Mix a material concoction for a purpose, explore the effect of heat on materials, material waste and remake a material into a new product. Available in a junior and middle/senior primary format.

  • Level: Foundation to Level 6.

  • Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.

  • Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.

  • State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD

Learning Outcomes

  • ‘Materials’ is the word we use for all the different substances that things are made from.

  • Many natural materials are processed and changed by people, so they can be used for a particular purpose.

  • Materials have different physical properties that make them suited for different purposes, e.g. soft, shiny, flexible, transparent.

  • We can change materials in both reversible and irreversible ways.

  • Changes of state are reversible changes.

  • Chemical reactions are irreversible changes that produce new materials with different properties to the original ones.

  • Some chemical reactions are quite ‘violent’ and produce lots of heat and light – and even flames!

Activities

  • Small group classification of a range of materials according to their origin, and whether they are natural or processed.

  • Students view images of materials under a digital microscope to gain insight into their structures.

  • Students test the physical properties of different properties.

  • Demonstration of the reversible changes involved in matter moving from one state to another, and in dissolving a substance in water.

  • In pairs, students investigate the effect of water on corn starch packaging, and link this to why corn starch is a more environmentally friendly option than traditional materials.

  • Demonstration of the amazing properties of Nitinol memory wire.

90 minute workshops also include these activities:

  • In groups, students use heat and a chemical reaction to make a new material.

  • Demonstration of a violent chemical reaction that produces heat (and flames!).

Victorian Curriculum Links

  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (VCSSU044)

  • Everyday materials can be physically changed or combined with other materials in a variety of ways for particular purposes (VCSSU045)

  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (VCSSU059)

  • Changes to materials can be reversible, including melting, freezing, evaporating, or irreversible, including burning and rusting (VCSSU077)

  • Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (VCSIS051)

  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools, equipment and technologies (VCSIS067)

NSW Curriculum Links

  • Identifies that objects are made of materials that have observable properties (STe-4MW-ST)

  • Identifies that materials can be changed or combined (ST1-6MW-S)

  • Identifies that objects are made of materials that have observable properties (STe-4MW-ST)

  • Questions, plans and conducts scientific investigations, collects and summarises data and communicates using scientific representations (ST2-1WS-S)

  • Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity (ST3-2DP-T)

Australian Curriculum Links

  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)

  • Everyday materials can be physically changed or combined with other materials in a variety of ways for particular purposes (ACSSU018)

  • A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)

  • Changes to materials can be reversible or irreversible (ACSSU095)

  • Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (ACSIS025)

  • With guidance, plan and conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions, considering the safe use of appropriate materials and equipment (ACSIS065)

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SCHOOL FEEDBACK

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Mad About Science Electricity session was amazing… I learnt plenty myself!

Mrs S February 12, 2018

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All children were engaged, and the activities were very interactive. The prep children LOVED the hands-on activities and allowed them to stay focussed. Excellent management of children and great questioning! Thank you!

December 10, 2014

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Gemma captivated the students from the beginning and maintained their interest. She was positive and genuine. Her level of knowledge was excellent and made for great conversation with the students.

February 2, 2016

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