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This is a classroom activity to explain liquid crystal sensors for middle school students. A list of activity materials and .pdf handouts are included. Objectives: -Understand how liquid crystals (LCs) relate to other phases of matter (liquid, solid, gas) -Observe that liquid crystals reflect many different colors (wavelengths) of light -Learn that thermally sensitive LCs twist and turn (change pitch & orientation) at different temperatures, which changes the particular color of light that they reflect -Learn that just like some LCs can measure temperature, others can 'sense' particular chemicals and biological agents -Explore how LC sensors can be used to detect changes that cannot be seen with the naked eye -Brainstorm particular applications of LC sensors.
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