Download Teacher’s Guide

Materials Explorers™ is designed with you in mind. Each module is aligned with national standards and designed to be easily integrated into your curriculum. Modules can also be used as part of the wider program or individually to support your class lessons.

The guide is available as a complete PDF or module by module and includes activities, answer keys, and grading rubrics.

All Materials Explorers™ resources are free to educators and their students.

Download the Complete Teacher’s Guide

Complete Teacher’s Guide

Download the full guide, which contains all modules, as one PDF.

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Additive Manufacturing

In this module students will be able to:
  • Describe the difference between subtractive processes, forming processes and additive manufacturing
  • Identify various forms of additive manufacturing
  • Identify applications of additive manufacturing
  • Create and evaluate a prototype
  • Explain some potential benefits and limits of additive manufacturing

HGSS: HS-ETSI-2; HS-ETSI-3
Keywords: Additive Manufacturing; 3D Printing; Manufacturing; Engineering

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Biomedical Materials

In this module students will be able to:
  • Describe the properties of viscoelastic materials
  • Compare and contrast solids and liquids
  • Define biomaterials and identify applications
  • Classify and balance the reaction that occurs when magnesium is absorbed by the body
  • Define polymers and identify an example of a polymer

HGSS: HS-PS1-3; HS-PS2-6
Keywords: Chemistry; Viscosity; Elasticity; Polymers; Physics; Solids; Liquids; Biomedical; Engineering; Elastic Modulus; Yield Strength; Medicine

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Bladesmithing

In this module students will be able to:
  • Compare and contrast alloys and pure metals
  • Identify advantages and disadvantages of various metals when used in bladesmithing
  • Calculate the Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) of various metals and alloys
  • Apply knowledge of specific strength to discuss applications in other fields
  • Distinguish between casting, hot forging, and cold forging

HGSS: HS-PS1-1; HS-PS1-3
Keywords: Chemistry; Physics; Metals; Alloy; Specific Strength; Ultimate Tensile Strength; Stress; Blacksmithing

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Light Energy Behind Lightsabers

In this module students will be able to:
  • Discuss the duality of light
  • Explain how different colors of light are emitted by different elements
  • Define plasma
  • Develop a procedure for identifying unknown salts based on the color of light they emit
  • Explain the relationship between energy, wavelength, and frequency
  • Investigate how lasers are created and their uses in industry

HGSS: HS-PS4-3; HS-PS4-4
Keywords: Chemistry; Physics; Light; Plasma; Energy; Wavelength; Frequency; Lasers; Electromagnetic Spectrum; Chemistry; Salt Test

Download Light Energy Behind Lightsabers Module

Materials Science of Superheroes

In this module students will be able to:
  • Compare theoretical superpowers to real-world scientific applications that make them possible
  • Use their knowledge of an element to synthesize their own superhero
  • Explain the arrangement of elements on the periodic table
  • Research the role of materials science and engineering in simplifying modern life
  • Discuss the relationship between valence electrons and reactivity, and the importance of reactivity in materials science

HGSS: HS-PS4-3; HS-PS4-4
Keywords: Physics; Chemistry; Mathematics; Careers in STEM; Periodic Table

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The Materials That Move Us: Data Collection and Graphing

In this module students will be able to:
  • Identify the steps of the scientific method
  • Analyze data and create a graph to reveal trends in the data
  • Use data and graphs as evidence to draw conclusions about the relationship between two variables
  • Compare composites to raw materials and explain the advantages of using composites in various industries

HGSS: HS-PS2-1
Keywords: Physics; Mathematics; Scientific Method; Data Interpretation; Composites; Yield Strength; Young’s Modulus

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The Materials That Move Us: Measurement and Scale

In this module students will be able to:
  • Select the appropriate device for measuring impact impressions
  • Apply significant figures to measurements
  • Identify the limitations of measuring devices in relation to significant figures
  • Discuss the importance of measurements using a specific example from industrial applications
  • Understand the importance of standardizing measurements and their units

HGSS: HS-PS1-1
Keywords: Physics; Mathematics; Chemistry; Measuring; Measuring Devices; Significant Figures; International System of Units (SI); Standards; Certified Reference Materials

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The Materials That Move Us: Physical and Chemical Properties

In this module students will be able to:
  • Identify both physical changes and chemical changes
  • Recognize corrosion as an example of a chemical change and identify different examples of corrosion
  • Recognize the importance of understanding physical properties when working with a material
  • See how scientists and engineers learn from failure to improve their understanding of a material
  • Explain what a coating is, provide examples of coatings used in industrial applications, and identify the physical and chemical properties of those coatings

HGSS: HS-PS1-2
Keywords: Chemistry; Physical Changes; Chemical Changes; Corrosion; Physical Properties; Scientific Method; Surface Engineering and Coatings

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The Materials That Move Us: States of Matter

In this module students will be able to:
  • Collect data and generate a heating curve for water
  • Explain how intermolecular forces affect states of matter
  • Observe the fusion and solidification points for a tin/bismuth alloy
  • Experiment with alloys by recording the temperature of various combinations of tin and bismuth
  • Compare the melting point of pure substance to alloys

HGSS: HS-PS2-6; HS-PS1-3
Keywords: Chemistry; Physics; Heating Curve; Intermolecular Forces; Solidification; Melting Points; Phase Change; Alloys

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The Materials That Move Us: Capstone Project

In this module students will be able to:
  • Evaluate a solution to a complex, real-world problem that can be solved through materials applications
  • Analyze and evaluate different material properties
  • Develop a practical solution to a complex, real-world problem
  • Present the solution through a poster presentation and optional prototype

HGSS: HS-PS2-6; HS-PS1-3
Keywords: Chemistry; Physics; Scientific Method; Product Development; Entrepreneurship

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Science of Sound

In this module students will be able to:
  • Explain how pitch and amplitude can be adjusted for string and wind instruments
  • Construct a prototype of an instrument which can be adjusted for pitch and amplitude
  • Demonstrate the prototype and discuss challenges encountered
  • Explore how various materials are used in the manufacturing of musical instruments
  • Interpret graphs displaying sound waves, comparing pitch and loudness

HGSS: HS-PS4-3; HS-PS4-4
Keywords: Physics; Chemistry; Sound; Sound waves; Frequency; Pitch; Amplitude; Materials; Musical Instruments

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Smartphones

In this module students will be able to:
  • Identify the materials used to create a smartphone
  • Develop a procedure to test the chemical and physical properties of the metals used to create smartphones
  • Write an evidence-based conclusion identifying each metal based on the physical and chemical properties
  • Explore the uses of rare earth metals and the challenges created by a reliance on them
  • Illustrate a metallic bond and explain how the bonding arrangement affects physical properties

HGSS: HS-PS1-1; HS-PS1-3; HS-PS2-6
Keywords: Chemistry; Physical Properties; Chemical Properties; Rare Earth Elements

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Structural Materials

In this module students will be able to:
  • Identify examples of structural failures in everyday life
  • Calculate stress and strain exhibited, along with Young’s modulus
  • Tabulate and graph calculated results for stress and strain
  • Investigate the real-life applications of structural materials

HGSS: HS-PS2-3
Keywords: Physics; Mathematics; Stress; Strain; Young’s Modulus; Structural Applications

Download Structural Materials Module