Team-taught course simultaneously impacts the improvement of science and social literacy

           Did you know that aluminum was once such a coveted material that Napoléon III had a cutlery service made of it, and a pure aluminum cap first graced the top of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC? Or that Earl Tupper’s invention of new containers using what he called Poly T (also known as Tupperware) was going nowhere quickly until Brownie Wise identified its trademark “burp”? Or that residents in the Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük (in Turkey) used the same material (clay) for building, cooking, religious rituals, and burying their dead? The history of humankind is a story of the interrelationships between materials and social life. Entire civilizations are described with reference to materials: clay, iron, bronze, steel, and silicon. But our discoveries of materials do not define us. Rather, it is how humans have chosen to use and define materials that shape our world.

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