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Grouping materials

This database lets you find out about the properties of various common materials. It can be explored in several ways to allow you to group materials by a single property - such as those that conduct electricity - or by several different properties.

The properties of materials are those at  room temperature.

For some of the materials there may be conflicting views on the properties. For example chocolate can have a shiny surface but has been classified as dull. Engine oil can be opaque if it is dark coloured, but has been classified as transparent. Hair is shown as being soft, and lead is often dull when we see it on buildings - but clean lead is shiny.

If the properties given lead to debate and discussion, this will help children understand that sometimes there is no 'right' answer. Children could also consider how the properties would change if it was very cold.