Name the Molecule- a bit of fun!


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    edited August 2020
    Stearyl Alcohol?
  • Hi Perry. So close. Stearic acid. 
    CH3 (CH2)16 COOH
    in Lego of course. :)
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Nice!  I see...the two red legos = two Oxygen atoms.
  • Thanks. I use Legos to teach children how to make molecules. We mostly use C H O and the studs correspond to the number of bonds. 

    You would be surprised how young children can pick this up. I can give them a formula and they can make the molecule.

    My daughter, Meggy aged 7,  is pictured with her molecule of stearic acid.

    Only rule is the Legos can only be 2 deep. It doesn't work for nonlinear molecules.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    She is very cute, @Dr_Sara and that is a cute way to learn. I'll bet Meggy can figure a way to get branched groups into there. Even dendrites.

  • Thank you. :)

    You are correct. If I give the children a stack of atoms, they make branched molecules. Rings are more of a problem.

    The tricky part is when they ask "Dr Sara, what is the name of this molecule and what does it do?"

    Stearic acid is a molecule that all kids can relate to- the smell of crayons!

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Cool idea!
  • Thank you!
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