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Science Museum

Find out about the properties and uses of materials through objects, hands-on exhibits and computer interactives. Recommended for KS1 upwards.

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 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 gallery is open access and you can explore at any time during your visit. We do not allocate specific time slots so you can fit it around other activities that you may have booked.


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

Ideas to explore with your students