Fuzzy Molecules Challenge

Introduction

Use pipe cleaners and pom poms to make models of common molecules. Molecules are combinations of atoms which share electrons to form covalent chemical bonds. The compounds formed

have different properties than the atoms they are made from.

Materials
Pipecleaner and pom poms – Amazon – $11.98

Directions
• Balls represent atoms. In the diagrams below oxygen is red, hydrogen is white, carbon is gray, and nitrogen is blue.
• Colored Pom Poms are different kinds of atoms.
• Pipe cleaners represent bonds.
• Atoms have different numbers of bonds they can form.
• Twist the pipe cleaners around the pom poms to make models of these molecules.
• Variation: use marshmallows and toothpicks to make your models.

Molecule Formula Ball and Stick View Molecular View
Oxygen O2
Water H2O
Carbon Dioxide CO2
Methane CH4
Ammonia NH3
Graphite C(n)

Pdf version of the lesson plan available here.