How is glass made?
Name some things that are made of glass. Your list might include windows, bottles, eyeglasses, light-bulbs, drinking cups, baking dishes, and more! Glass is a very useful material that's been around for thousands of years; scientists have found artifacts of man-made glass objects dating all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians! Glass is an ideal material for many things because it's made using naturally occurring resources. It's also easy to shape and mold, and it's stiff and rigid enough to be used as a container for other things. Plus, glass is clear, which makes it a great choice for things like windows and eyeglass lenses!!
Believe it or not, one of the key ingredients in the making of glass is sand! Glass is made when sand is mixed with the right amount of other special substances (like lime and sodium bicarbonate), and then heated up to a very, very hot temperature. The glass at this stage is molten (liquid) and after it cools a little, it is able to be molded into shapes. Making the shapes out of the hot liquid glass has to happen quickly as it continues to cool further, it begins to stiffen so the shapes must be made before it becomes too hard! Once it's in the desired shape, it is cooled further and then ready to be used!
Explore your home and see what things are made from glass! (But make sure to be a cautious explorer glass is very breakable and there might be some glass items in your house that are not supposed to be picked up or touched. Explore with your eyes!)What are some things you already know about in your home which are made from glass, and what are some things you find that you hadn't thought about?Do you find more items made from glass in certain rooms, like the kitchen or the bathroom, than in others? What other materials do you also notice as you walk around? Plastic? Paper? Metal? Wood??What kinds of shapes are the glass items in? Are there a lot of round, circular shapes, or a lot of flatter shapes? Do you have different colors of glass, like blue drinking glasses and red vases??Why do you think the items you see are made from glass instead of another substance, like maybe metal or wood? Are there any objects not made from glass that you think maybe should have been?
It's important to be careful with glass because unlike lots of other materials, it breaks easily and can be very sharp when it does! If you ever find some broken glass, have a grown-up help you clean it up. It's also important to recycle glass in order to save natural resources and cut down on waste. Go green!