iridescent

Why are Seashells so Strong?

In this hands-on activity, visitors explore the structure of seashells and learn that seashells are a composite material made of both inorganic and organic materials. Visitors compare the mechanical properties of plaster bricks and dried sheets of glue, which helps them discover that both toughness and hardness are important mechanical properties. To see what a shell would be like if it were not so tough, visitors try to break normal shells and shells that have been either baked or soaked in bleach.

Exploring Materials - Thin Films

"Exploring Materials - Thin Films" is a hands-on activity in which visitors create a colorful bookmark using a super thin layer of nail polish on water. They learn that a thin film creates iridescent, rainbow colors.

"Explore Science - Zoom info Nano Rainbow Film" (2016) version designed for groups and community outreach.

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