Materials Science: Properties of Matter
Students investigate and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties, including color, texture, and heat conduction. After analyzing data from materials testing, the students design an insulating cover for an ice pop to prevent melting.
All materials have a melting point, or a temperature at which a solid becomes a liquid. The melting point for water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice pops have a slightly lower melting point, but both water and ice pops are liquid at room temperature because room temperature is above the melting point of the substance.
Every material has unique properties of insulation. The better a material is at insulating, the more it will keep an object at the starting temperature. This means a cup made from a good insulator, such as Styrofoam™, will keep hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold better than a cup made from a poor insulator such as paper.
Engineers and designers select materials which have properties that are best suited for an intended purpose. Properties such as color, texture, and heat conduction may influence design choices.
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