• Ali

Building Models of Molecules

Since we had finished with our atoms unit, we moved up a size step to molecules. Building molecules was a bit more fun and a bit more simple than the atom model. The resulting molecule looked great.

The facts I wanted my little dude to learn are as follows:

  1. Molecules are made up of atoms

  2. Molecules are just atoms held together by covalent bonds. This means the atoms beside each other are sharing electrons.

  3. The number of electrons in the outer shell determine how many bonds an atom can form.

  4. Though there are some exceptions, generally hydrogen can form only 1 bond, oxygen forms 2 bonds and carbon forms 4 bonds.

We decided to make a few simple molecules and one complex molecule. We chose glucose as it is a fun ring shape and still pretty simple for a complex molecule.

What You Need:

  • For hydrogen we used small blue pompoms

  • For Oxygen we used small styrofoam ball

  • For Carbon we used small styrofoam balls painted red

  • For bonds we used toothpicks

For Water we needed 2 pompoms, 1 white styrofoam ball

For Oxygen we needed 2 white styrofoam balls

For Methane we needed 4 pompoms and 1 red styrofoam ball

For Glucose we needed 12 pompoms, 6 white styrofoam balls, 6 red styrofoam balls

For Ozone we needed 3 white styrofoam balls. Ozone can have 3 bonds asit is an exception to the rule.

What To Do:

Just follow the schematics below. Keep in mind, methane and glucose are not flat. To get the right shape for the carbon bonds in methane, make 3 hydrogens into a low tripod and have one sticking right up so it looks like the bonds are more or less evenly spaced. Use this bond shape for all the carbons.

The oxygen bonds make a wide 'V' shape.

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