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Material Magic    Mystery 4

Mystery 4 image

In this Mystery, students learn how new materials are invented. In the activity, they create a design for an invention that uses a futuristic material.

What materials might be invented in the future?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 5)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 5)

Discuss:

Imagine you were a scientist who got to make new materials. What would you try to invent?

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 5)
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Beginning Exploration (4 of 5)

Discuss:

What kinds of things would you want to invent with materials like these?

glass_superconductor

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Beginning Activity: Bouncy Glass Inventions
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Activity Prep

In this activity, your students will come up with ideas for inventions that use an exciting new material: glass that bounces and stretches like rubber. We encourage students to think “outside the box” and think of crazy ideas.

To prepare yourself to lead the class discussion, we suggest you watch this short video of a creative team coming up with ideas.

For the activity itself, you will need: * a board where you can write student ideas * a copy of the “Invention sheet for each student

Beginning Exploration (5 of 5)

Bouncy Glass Invention Show & Tell

After everyone creates an invention, your teacher will choose a few students to present their inventions. After each invention is presented, discuss:

1) What is one thing you really like about this invention?

2) Can you think of one thing that would improve this invention?

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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration which you just completed.

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Readings

These readings will help students think more about inventions. They are free with registration on ReadWorks, a nonprofit committed to providing teachers with research-proven, Common-Core-aligned readings. All readings include comprehension questions.

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Activity: Build a Better Pencil

Created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for grades K-2, Build a Better Pencil builds on the introduction to invention provided in this mystery. Students think of a problem that people have with pencils and then figure out how to solve this problem.

In the process, students plan, make, evaluate and modify simple designs and develop an awareness of constraints such as safety, time, cost, space and availability of materials.

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Videos — Kids Invent!

To inspire your students to invent and create, show a few videos about young inventors of the past and present.

  • Trampoline: A young gymnast figured out how to bounce high in the air after watching acrobats at the circus.

  • Ear muffs: A fifteen-year-old with cold ears and an allergy to wool scarves found a way to keep his ears warm.

  • Surprise!:A boy who didn’t have enough room for an air hockey table in his bedroom came up with a clever way to solve his problem.

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Image & Video Credits

Mystery Science respects the intellectual property rights of the owners of visual assets. We make every effort to use images and videos under appropriate licenses from the owner or by reaching out to the owner to get explicit permission. If you are the owner of a visual and believe we are using it without permission, please contact us—we will reply promptly and make things right.

Exploration
laboratory by Jean-Pierre , used under CC BY-SA
3M by Brandon
scientists by 3M Post-it®
post-it by Paul Williams , used under CC BY
lightbulb on head by Tinkeringbell
car by Nick Ares , used under CC BY-SA
Activity
pencil by Charm
glass by Plastock , used under CC BY
jar by Maximaximax , used under CC BY-SA
window by Roger Mommaerts , used under CC BY-SA
glasses by Mollyyoung , used under CC BY-SA
lightbulb by KMJ , used under CC BY-SA
faucet by livehome , used under CC BY-SA
water by Steve Johnson , used under CC BY