Learn about Teflon and the properties of materials with this short podcast

Produced by FunKids Radio and the RSC, this short snippet uses Kareena and her superhero friend K-Mistry to introduce children to Teflon and the properties of materials.

This podcasts can be used as a ’hook’ when introducing the topic to your students, or at the end of a lesson to stimulate discussion about what they have learnt.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
  • Finding things out using a wide range of secondary sources of information.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.
  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Identify and compare the suitability of a variety of everyday materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, brick, rock, paper and cardboard for particular uses.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That the properties of different materials make them suitable for different purposes.

Suggested activity use

This activity provides an interesting hook into children researching materials and their suitability for different purposes, based on their properties. After listening to the recording, children could research the scientist who discovered Teflon, and how it’s used in spacesuits.

Children could also look at a range of other materials and decide why they were chosen for a particular purpose based on some of the key properties. Children could even compare pans with and without Teflon coating, to see how easily they can remove dried-on food.

Practical considerations

You may need to do research into the uses of Teflon and its inventor, Dr Roy Plunkett, prior to the lesson.

You may need to look up websites, books and other sources of information before the lesson if children are to research content further, so that they can easily access quality information.

You will need to supply a range of different pans for students to compare. Also if students are to describe the properties of different materials you will need to provide a selection of objects.