Mechanical and Materials - Grades 10 to 12

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Mechanical Engineering is one of the major divisions within the profession and its principles are involved in the design, development and construction of nearly all of the physical devices and systems which technology  has produced. Mechanical engineers are also concerned with the operations of all kinds of machinery, and the production of power. They must conceive, research, design, develop, test, manufacture and sell equipment for these purposes.


Smartphones, space travel, artificial joints, hybrid electric cars – all are only possible because of new materials. A material is valuable because of its properties; strength, heat or corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity to name a few. Experience has shown that properties are closely related to microstructure, the internal building-blocks of materials, and that this structure is controlled by the way in which a material is processed. Materials engineers work to discover and design new material/process combinations with outstanding combinations of properties, and improve the manufacturing processes that create materials. Metals, plastics, ceramics, super- and semi-conductors are just a few materials that these engineers continue to develop and enhance.

McMaster Materials Science and Engineering

McMaster Mechanical Engineering

 

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New Curriculum:

Xtreme Conditions
Pushing the Limits- In this activity we’ll examine how materials perform under harsh environments.  We’ll look at refractories that survive up to 2000C, metals that can withstand harsh acid environments and biomaterials/implants that can survive the harshest environment of all; the human body!  We’ll also examine how metal oxides (minerals) can be reduced to metals. Participants will use high temperature reduction reactions to make colorful Roku pottery designs.

Microscopy
See an atom!  A series of activities at the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy will allow participants to look at the building blocks of industrial alloys and living things.  Optical microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy will be utilized to examine the microstructure of materials at magnifications ranging from 100x to over 10,000,000x.  Not only will you be able to see the fine details on butterfly’s wing, but also you’ll be able to see individual atoms on the surface of a metal.  You have to see it to believe it!

M&M: Music and Materials
In this activity we’ll explore the connection between the mechanical properties of materials and your favorite tunes!  Participants will explore how the elastic properties of the material determine the frequencies produced by string instruments. We’ll also investigate the strength that a guitar string needs to have and build our own instruments out of different materials. Play these at your own risk!

Crystals: Grow your own! 
Participants will build crystals ranging in size from nano-crystals that can only be seen at magnifications in excess of 100,000x and massive centimeter size crystals.  We’ll look at the principles that control crystal growth and some of the unique properties that some crystals have (e.g. Piezoelectric crystals, superconductors, shape memory). 

Materials Magic

Materials Engineers are modern day alchemists.  They change the properties of materials at will to make them more useful.  During this activity, participants will follow Sensei Mat and Master Eng on a journey of learning to discover how to make materials stronger, lighter and safer.

And much much more!

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