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Are your students familiar with the development and uses of foams and plastics? What about buckyballs and magneto-rheological fluid? At this animated site, a companion to a traveling science center exhibition, students in grades 5-8 can explore materials science. Four sets of activities address, respectively, the structure, properties, processing, and performance of materials. Kids are the guides for these activities, which come equipped with sound effects, video clips of scientists, games, and experiments. In one activity set, The Transformer, students explore how raw materials are converted into useful products. They load silicon, iron, or carbon into a virtual machine, select the processes to alter their starting material, and then learn about the new substance they have made. The site also supplies an overview of materials science, a teachers section with connections to national science standards, and annotated lists of related resources. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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