Materials Under the Microscope

“As part of the parent organization(CIM), MetSoc McGill dedicates to build the connection between academia and industry. Our focus is to bring students the opportunity to develop networking skills and gain insight into the professional world through our events like industrial tours and industrial talks. Becoming a member gives students access to hundreds of scholarships, events including industry tours and conferences, CIM Magazine, jobs opportunities and a network of professionals. 

Let’s Talk Science Outreach at McGill (LTS):
Talk Science Outreach is a national, community-based program connecting educators and youth with outstanding volunteers to deliver a wide variety of meaningful science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities for children as young as three years old and youth up to Grade 12.

Mining and Materials Engineering Department of McGill University (MINMAT):

Materials engineers combine a solid fundamental knowledge of the structure and properties of materials with a creative spark and all the engineering skills necessary to create new materials and improve those that already exist.  They work with any type of material: metals, ceramics, polymers and composites.  In our program, we deal with all of these materials using them to make coatings for airplanes, prosthetics for bone replacement, nano-sized sensors, and much more. The Materials Bachelor of Engineering program is a Co-op program where students work for up to 12 months in an industry complementing their studies with applied research. 

The project initiative

A group of 12 students (Grade 12 preferably) will visit MINMAT facilities and more specifically the optical microscopy and Scanning Electron Microsopy (SEM) in McGill Materials Characterization (MMC) facilities.

Objective: Observe the differences between metals, composites and polymers 

Activity :

Activity 1: Take several pieces of different metals/ alloys (Mg, Al, Ti, steel, superalloy). Observe the
similarities and differences between them. Where do you think we can use each one. Explain the
difference between metals and alloys.
Activity 2: Take a loonie and a piece of plastic and observe the difference under the optical microscope
Activity 3: Observe a loonie under higher magnification in the SEM.