17 Nov 2007

Looking at Solid State Structures

In-Class Activity

Submitted by Barbara Reisner, James Madison University
Course Level: 

I find that students get a better understanding of solid state structure by playing with models.  I give students two fifty-minute class periods to look at the structure types that we discuss in class.  This is an old in-class activity that needs massive updating.

In this activity,  students look at the holes in different lattice types (simple cubic, ccp, hcp) and the CsCl, NaCl, CdI2, ZnS, and spinel structure types.

In the past, I have not directly figured out if students did this other than going around the class and having students explain stuff to me and asking them related exam questions.

Microsoft Office document icon building solids.doc25 KB
Equipment needs: 
Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence


the ice website is broken, but this activity (I linked it above) posted by Mike Condron, might be the same thing you originally posted?


I need to buy some of these for my fall class; I like the old ICE kits at the link Adam provided. Has anyone used the polyhedral kits? Are they worth it?



i have one set of the polyhedral models in my office and I haven't used it.  Mostly because I haven't figured out how to.

The link has been updated and now works on laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

Thanks George!

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