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What are Things Made Of?

People who make things need to know a bit about materials in order for the things to be useful. Some simple examples would be:

Would you make a ship out of wool?! If not, why not?
Or would you make a bridge out of rubber?!

Lead is a heavy metal, and aluminium is light.   Which would you choose to build an aircraft or a fishing boat?

Have a look at all the things around you – the table, chair, floor, curtains, toys. What are they all made of? The table and chair could be made of wood or plastic or metal; toys can be made of any of these , or maybe something else; some curtains are made of cotton, others of man-made material.

Scientists like to group things. Once they do this it is easier to work out how something might behave, because of the group it is in. Here are some ways of grouping stuff: Heavy or light, smooth or rough, bendy or rigid, natural (e.g. wool, cotton, wood) or man-made (e.g. plastic, nylon), absorbs water or does not absorb water.

There are lots of other ways – can you think of some?