Materials Discovery Boxes

The Discovery Boxes have been curated to give teachers and their students access to artefacts and materials that they would not normally be able to get hold of.
Using the contents of the box will allow you to put the materials topics in the curriculum into context and show students how materials have helped to change the technology that we rely on every day.

What is in the Discovery Boxes?
For almost 20 years schools have had access to presentations which feature a large collection of artefacts and materials.  As much as possible the contents of the boxes mirror those that have successfully been used in schools for many years.
Examples of materials include:  smart materials (e.g. thermochromic polymers, shape memory alloys, quantum tunnelling composite), samples of a wide range of polymers including recycled materials, samples of a range of metals and alloys which are all the same size to allow easy comparison, examples from aerospace, medicine and communication-related applications, examples of modern materials such as carbon fibre composite, Kevlar, nano-coated materials and silicone and examples of traditional and functional textiles.  It is envisaged that the collections will continue to grow and evolve as new samples are acquired.
The physical samples are accompanied by a comprehensive package of support literature including Power Point presentations, detailed notes about each of the samples and links to the curriculum.  Ideas for activities that can be done with the samples will be developed in conjunction with teachers on an ongoing basis.

How do I borrow a box?
If you would like to borrow a box please get in touch You will then need to sign a booking contract and make sure that the box will be covered by your school’s insurance whilst it is in your care.

How long can I borrow a box for?
Boxes are available to borrow for a period of one week.  The Box will be delivered to school on Friday lunchtime and collected the following Friday lunchtime.

Is there a charge to borrow a box?
Borrowing a box will incur a charge of £40 to cover delivery and collection by courier.

How will I get the box?
The box will be delivered to your school by courier.  You will then need to quickly check the contents and complete and arrival checklist.   You will need to complete the check list again when you have finished with the box and return it to the cardboard outer packaging.  At the end of your loan period the courier will collect the box and bring it back to us.