16 Jul 2014

Having fun with your own molecular models

In-Class Activity

Submitted by Arpita Saha, Georgia Southern University

This is a fun chemistry project where students make model compounds to learn various structural aspects of the compound. This is an individual project that is each student is assigned with one compound.  They can use any item (for e.g. Styrofoam balls etc) to make their very own model compound. The model should contain all the atoms (visually distinctive), bonds, lone pairs. Student is expected to create something novel rather using molecular model kit. They can use text book and lecture material for the resources. This LO can be adapted for both general chemistry and inorganic chemistry course.

File List of compounds.docx19.03 KB
Learning Goals: 

Each student is allotted with one compound to study shape, geometry, bond angle, polarity, hybridization, symmetry elements and point group and to present it during the lecture (or may be laboratory hour) and share the findings with fellow classmates. The goal is to cover all types of coordination compounds up to coordination number seven by active learning. Students should be well prepared to answer questions covering all the topics mentioned above.

Equipment needs: 

There is no fixed requirement for any certain type of model compound so students can use their very own ideas to come up with something new as long as the model stays intact during the demonstration.

Implementation Notes: 

Prior to this activity, students are introduced with atomic structure, molecular geometry and symmetry. They should have basic foundation to complete the project and this activity should help them to better comprehend the material as well as to connect several aspects of structure and bonding in one single project.

Time Required: 
Students may make the model at home and bring it to the class. So there is no time limit for creating the models.
Evaluation Methods: 

Evaluation will be based on presentation, creativity and style for a total of 30 points. Ten points will be awarded for creative modeling and ten points for the presentation and ability to answer questions. Students will also evaluate each other for a maximum of ten points.

Evaluation Results: 

All my students finished the project properly with lots of enthusiasm. They used variety of items to make their very own model and explained all the parts of learning objective very well. I have used several of their models in explaining various topics in my Inorganic class which my students find very flattering.

Creative Commons License: 
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