In this lab, students will analyze, sketch, and construct models of common organic molecules, including hydrocarbons, functional groups, carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids. It is designed as 6 stations, where students rotate from one to the next in groups. I designed the activity so that teachers with a limited number of molecule kits can pool their resources to allow students to experience models of large molecules, such as fats.
The 6 stations are:
1 - constructing 4 hydrocarbons and deriving a formula for calculating the number of hydrogens
2 - constructing and analyzing 4 common functional groups
3 - drawing and constructing a glucose molecule and joining two glucoses via dehydration synthesis
4 - sketching a saturated fat and converting it to an unsaturated fat
5 - sketching, constructing, and comparing two amino acids
6 - constructing a "mystery molecule" using the materials provided and classifying it as a carbohydrate
The file includes a page for instructor setup and materials, a 3-page student handout, and an answer key. Allow groups 10-15 minutes at a station to construct and analyze the molecules. This activity will take a double lab period or 2 standard class periods.
Constructing Organic Molecular Models by Nicole Koller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License