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Carbon with a chance to make Buckyballs

Carbon Workshops

Pupils: KS2 (Years 5 & 6), KS3 and KS4

Duration: 60 min - half day

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Dr. Martin's Carbon Workshops allow pupils to experience the wonder and awe of science at the level of atoms and molecules via an insightful introduction to the properties and applications of three very different forms of pure carbon.   Megatowers and Nanotubes takes this one step further using a hands-on approach to provide an exciting glimpse into the world of structural engineering on a mind boggling contrast of scales.

Classroom Buckyball Megatowers and Nanotubes (web) P1040049

Carbon Pure and Simple

Megatowers and Nanotubes

This is a half day classroom based activity suitable for a full class (36 max) of upper KS2 (Years 5 and 6) pupils. In a workshop brimming with science and maths, pupils are introduced to atoms and molecules and explore the molecular structures of three different forms of pure carbon (graphite, diamond and Buckminsterfullerine [Buckyball]) and how these explain the amazing contrast in their properties.

 

Pupils get hands-on by making mini tetrahedrons and molecular models to explore the geometry and other mathematical properties associated with each of the structural forms. Each pupil will make a Buckyball and the session ends with a card-chase team challenge to help consolidate learning.

 

Megatowers and Nanotubes makes the perfect partner activity.

Carbon Pure and Simple is a 60 - 75 min classroom or lab based hands-on workshop activity suitable for classes (36 max) of KS3 and KS4 pupils.

 

Following a brief introduction to carbon, pupils explore the molecular structures of three different forms of pure carbon (graphite, diamond and fullerines) and how these explain the amazing contrast in their properties.

 

Pupils get hands-on by making mini tetrahedrons and molecular models (including a Buckyball) to explore the geometry associated with each of the structural forms and will learn about some of their applications.

Megatowers and Nanotubes is a half day classroom and hall based engineering experience suitable for a full class (36 max) of upper KS2 (Years 5 and 6) pupils.

 

The session begins with a short tutorial about shape and structural strength after which pupils work competitively in small teams to construct the tallest freestanding tower possible in a set time using wooden dowels and elastic bands. Back in the classroom, pupils will take a journey into the cutting edge nanoscale world by working collaboratively to make an impressive molecular model of a carbon nanotube up to 3m long!

 

The sesion concludes with a surprising link between the two core activities and the winning team of the Tower Challenge is revealed.