Have you ever seen a superhero movie where the superhero relies on a superstrong material such as Wolverine’s adamantium claws, Captain America’s vibranium shield or Iron Man’s suit of armor? Whereas scientists and engineers in comic books work on creating fictional materials to help superheroes win the day, real-world scientists and engineers are actually already creating superstrong materials that could have a variety of uses—from improved bulletproof vests to stronger ropes to lighter bikes to better spaceships. In this activity you’ll explore how simply the shape of molecules in a material can dramatically affect its strength, using nothing more than sheets of paper. Who knows, maybe this will set you on the path to designing your own super powers!
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