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Science Museum

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In this gallery, find out about the properties and uses of materials through objects, hands-on exhibits and computer interactives. Recommended for students aged 5 and over.

Challenge of Materials has something for all age-groups: hands-on activities specially designed for younger children, and computer interactives and exhibits suitable for older students. The centrepiece is a spectacular glass bridge supported by almost invisible steel wires just 1.6mm thick!

The gallery is divided into four zones:

  • What Are Materials?—The hidden world of atoms and molecules.
  • Selecting It—Why materials are chosen for particular jobs.
  • Making It—The different processes used to transform a raw material into a finished product.
  • Getting Rid of It—What we can do with things like sinks and telephone directories when we stop using them. 

This page is for educational groups; for general visitor information, please see the main gallery page.

Ideas to explore with your students