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Glass-Making Opens a Window to Science

Heating Up GlassAnnie Nash’s classes may be labeled “visual arts,” but they’re much more. While mastering the use of cold, warm, and hot glass-working tools, her second to fifth grade students also learn chemistry, physics, the laws and sources of energy, optics, history, and the scientific method.

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Activity: Glass Blowing Simulation

Glass BlowingIn this activity, elementary and middle school students learn about glass and the techniques for making it, especially glass blowing. Then, students experiment with honey to get a feel for how glass is blown, and butter, to learn how temperature changes affect a material.

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Resource: Glass and the International Materials Institute

Unlocking the mysteries of glassThe International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass provides a list of glass related information and video clips that have been prepared and collected for educators, students, and general science enthusiasts. Some of the material was prepared by the Institute, some was provided by other researchers, and some are links to other resources around the web.

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Website: Making Glass Online

Molding Blown GlassMaking Glass Online provides visitors with the latest glass making techniques and videos. It features glass making kits, history, step-by-step videos, and information on/guides to glass blowing, marble making, the tools and gear needed, and stain glass making.

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Class Activity: Fabricating Glass — and Candy

Glass-like hard candyThis lesson uses candy as a medium to illustrate the creation of glass, engaging students in three separate experiments as they predict, observe, and record the outcome of varying controls. The lesson is drawn from the curriculum “Contrasts: A Glass Primer,” developed by the Museum of Glass in Takoma, Washington, which aims to help students comprehend the medium of glass, while emphasizing oppositions in its creation, use, and aesthetics.

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