Why are Seashells so Strong?


NISE Network product
Why are Seashells so Strong?


In this hands-on activity, visitors explore the structure of seashells and learn that seashells are a composite material made of both inorganic and organic materials. Visitors compare the mechanical properties of plaster bricks and dried sheets of glue, which helps them discover that both toughness and hardness are important mechanical properties. To see what a shell would be like if it were not so tough, visitors try to break normal shells and shells that have been either baked or soaked in bleach.


Scientist reviewed? check_reviewed
Peer reviewed? check_reviewed
Visitor evaluation? check_reviewed



Creative Commons license image
Creative Commons
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike


Life science: 

K-4: Characteristics of organisms
5-8: Structure and function in living systems
9-12: Matter, energy, and organization in living systems

Physical science: 

K-4: Properties of objects and materials
5-8: Properties and changes of properties in matter
9-12: Structure and properties of matter

Science as inquiry: 

K-4: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
5-8: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
9-12: Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry


This product does not have any linked evaluations.



Keyword search


Contact about items in the Catalog.