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Glass is a magical, mysterious material predicting the future in ancient times, spreading rainbows of light in prisms and focusing the sun’s rays to start fire. It gives us the properties of gas, liquid and solid. It is visible, invisible and a mirror. It lets sunlight in and glitters with the sun’s attention. It reflects the sky, the weather, and the life in a day. It reflects light while letting light in during the day and lets light out glowing at night. Glass is a treasured substance made from the most ordinary material: sand transformed by fire. We can see through glass, see colors in glass, form glass into endless shapes, stand and walk on glass and protect ourselves against fire and weaponry with glass. Glass shows us our reflection, gives us shade, protects us from ultraviolet rays, cleans itself, and changes temperature from outside to inside. We can see ourselves and see the world through glass.

Activity 1 – Glass in Your LIfe!

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Start your search for glass objects and products. Take one hour out of one day and see how many things you can find that are made out of glass. Carry a digital camera or smart phone and capture your glass items and record their uses online. Take all of your captured glass and create a glass chart from smallest to largest, or from light color to dark or form transparent, translucent and opaque!

Have some glass magic!

Activity 2 – Timeline of Glass

Glass is found all around the world, in many cultures, in art, objects, buildings, and environments. Glass probably was first created by accident when fire melted basic ingredients together. Around 3500 BC people began mixing experimenting with ingredients to glaze clay pots. Glass making starts with mixing silica, or sand, and sodium carbonate, or salt, and other minerals into a ‘batch’. Various ingredients were added to produce a variety of objects from jewelry, dishware, windows, etc. through the centuries until mass production methods were invented in the 20th century. Since then, the glass composition has been changing to make glass stronger and smoother, clearer and more malleable, stronger and more vibrant, more mystical and magical. Take a journey through the history of glass and look at its structure, history, and craft in the world of glass objects, artifacts, and architectural constructs. Create a timeline of glass.

Activity 3 – Stained Glass

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Activity 4 – Making Glass

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Activity 5 – Glass Homes

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Activity 6 – Glass Stairs

Activity 7 – Glass Buildings

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Activity 8 – Glass Roofs

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  • What is the most abundant material used in making glass?
  • 'Batches' of glass mixtures are melted where?
  • Silica is colorless.
  • Sodium carbonate is another name for common table salt and is used in making glass.
  • Minerals added to silica and sodium carbonate add color and reflectivity to glass.
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