Laboratory Outreach

The Corral Laboratory "Materials Magic Show" is performed for Tucson area school children and high school students interested in attending the University of Arizona. The goal of the Magic Show is the educate a broad audience in the field of materials science and engineering through interactive materials experiments and hands-on demonstrations that look like MAGIC but are explained using materials science.


Materials Science and Engineering Magic Show poster



The demonstrations typically presented are used to show the students some of the many possible applications of materials in science and engineering.  For example, when demonstrating the strength of ceramics under compression, standing on wine glasses under a board proves that they can hold weight; if the glasses were dropped, they would simply shatter.

Science and engineering demonstrations

Another demonstration that is rather sweet involves liquid nitrogen and marshmallows.  The marshmallows are added into the liquid nitrogen and become very brittle, as the polymer chains composing the gelatin in the marshmallows are heat dependent.  It appears to be a steaming marshmallow stew!