the Ontario Science Center
the Materials Research Society
At this site from the Ontario Science Center, complete with lively graphics and sound, you can explore the science of materials. To get started, zoom in on a soda can, all the way down to the atomic level. Then see how special materials can be transformed and how they are used in a variety of applications.
Strange Matter offers activities on materials and how they can be transformed. The first section of the site offers a "powers-of-ten" style zoom-in on a soda can to show various close-ups of the can material and, finally, the aluminum atoms. The other three sections, "Transform Stuff", "Crush Stuff", and "Improve Stuff" each offer good examples of what materials science can do. For instance, "Transform Stuff" gives visitors the opportunity to choose a material from silicon, iron, and carbon and then choose among "Heat It", "Treat It", and "Beat It" (including all of the above) and see what new material is made. Good use of sound, humor, and graphics make for an enjoyable online experience, and short video clips of researchers, many of them women, put a human face on the science.
Beyond the website activities, there is a physical Strange Matter--a traveling exhibit produced by the Ontario Science Center in Toronto--which is traveling around the US and Canada in 2004-2005.
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