Students in Year 8 were invited to participate in a smart textiles activity as part of STEM week. First of all, they established what makes a material ‘smart’ in comparison to the normal working and physical properties of a material. After a short demonstration, students worked with two different smart materials to see them in action.
Using laser cut stencils of the MGGS school crest, they started with screen printing a cotton t-shirt or bag using a photochromic pigment that glows in the dark. Following this, students also explored thermochromic materials which respond to heat as an external stimuli. Students considered when and where such materials might be useful and came up with an excellent idea that army uniforms could be made using thermochromic pigments so that the uniforms changed colour according to the temperature of the environment be it a forest or a desert, a bit like a human chameleon!
Students then made small samples using the thermochromic pigments that could be stitched onto their bag or t-shirt once dry. Here are some of the students that used their lunch time to learn more about smart textiles!