Materials Catagories and Properties

Grade Level: 
High School
Technology Education, STEM
Lesson Overview:
To develop skills with material categories and material properties teams of four- six students will design and construct a two sided fact sheet and a game show presentation about one of the material categories. The class will then be quizzed on the information provided by the students.
Material Categories
  • Organics
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Polymers
  • Ceramics
  • Composites
The presentation (game show) & fact sheet will include:
·       List of key words and subsets of materials for the category
·       Pictures of examples of materials from the subsets
·       A list of products that are commonly made from the material
·       A sample experiment for identifying which subset the material belongs in
·       A list of typical properties for materials in this category
·       A material life cycle of one of the materials displayed 
·      Define basic terms of materials/ material categories.
·      Identify and classify the five basic categories of engineering materials.
·      Compare and contrast the physical properties of metals, polymers, ceramics, organics, and composites.
·      Identify practical applications of each material category to engineered products and processes.
·      Collect and analyze samples of the five basic material classifications.
·      Document (fact sheet) and present (game show) material categories.
Time Required:

Projected Timeline: 2 Weeks (based on block 90min every other day)


Week 1
Day 1
         Introduce Material Categories & Properties
         Divide teams/ assign categories
         Research Materials
Day 2
         Research Materials
         Develop Fact Sheet/Presentation
Day 3
         Develop Fact Sheet/Presentation
         Give Presentations/Game Show
Week 2
Day 1
         Give Presentations/Game Show
Day 2
Presentations/Game Show
Materials Needed:
  • Computer
  • LCD Projector
  • Game shows PPT templates (Millionaire, Jeopardy!, etc.) 
Skills/knowledge gained by learners:
  1. Identifies talents/skills within team and delegate responsibilities. Develop timelines for project completion.
  2. Brainstorm bridge ideas. Identify roles and tasks. Teams will give oral presentation/game show to class, teaching other students about their category.
  3. Teams will evaluate the different material category.   Teams will organize collected data into their fact sheet.
  4. Teams will monitor progress of game show.
  5. Teams will use a variety of technology including computers (Word, PowerPoint, & Internet Explorer), LCD projector, & photocopy machine. 
·      Divide class into groups of two-four.
·      Conduct research on the categories of materials.
·      Create a list of descriptors for each category of materials.
·      Create a two sided hand out/fact sheet of one of the categories. (You will need to run copies to distribute to the class, after your presentation.)
·      Create a 15-25 minute presentation/game show of one of the categories.
·      Quiz the class over the content that was presented.
Closure (How to draw the project to a close):
Give the class a quiz over the group’s presentations. Review the items that seemed to be misunderstood. Build on this research by then having the class collect and test materials.
Suggested Assessment:
Presentation- _________/100
     Creativity ______/25
     Length ________/25 (under 5 minutes will receive a zero)
     Content _______/50 (see above)
Fact Sheet __________/100
     Creativity _______/25
     Content ________/50 (see above)
     Overall _________/25 (to include overall appearance, syntax/spelling, neatness, etc.)
Standards Addressed:
The National Academy of Sciences Standards:
          1.0 Science Inquiry
1.1  Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
1.2  Understandings about scientific inquiry
2.0 Physical Science
          2.2 Structure and properties of matter
3.0 Life Science
          3.5 Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
4.0 Science and Technology
          4.2 Understandings about science and technology
5.0 Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
          5.3 Natural resources
          5.4 Environmental quality
          5.5 Natural and human-induced hazards
6.0 History and Nature of Science
          6.2 Nature of scientific knowledge
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards:
4.0 Measurement
          4.2 Apply a variety of techniques, tools, and formulas for determining measurements
          5.0 Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability
                   5.2 Interpret data using methods of exploratory data analysis
                   5.3 Develop and evaluate inferences, predictions, and arguments that are based on data
          6.0 Problem Solving
                   6.3 Apply a wide variety of strategies to solve problems and adapt the strategies to new situations
          8.0 Communication
                   8.1 Organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking to communicate with others
                   8.2 Express mathematical ideas coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
International Technology Education Association Standards:
1.0  The Nature of Technology
1.1  Students will develop an understanding of the characteristics and scope of technology.
1.2  Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology. 
2.0  Technology and Society
2.2  Students will develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment.  
4.0  Abilities for a Technological World
4.2  Students will develop the abilities to use and maintain technological products and systems.
4.3  Students will develop the abilities to assess the impact of products and systems.
5.0  The Designed World
5.4  Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use information and communication technologies.
Callister, William D., Material Science and Engineering: An Introduction, John Wiley and Sons, 1985.
Carlsson, Leif and Pipes, Byron, Experimental Characterization of Advanced  Composite Materials, Prentice-Hall, 1987
Granet, Irving, Modern Materials Science, Reston Publishers, Prentice-Hall 1980
Created by:  Steve Rogers, Walker Career Center