Using a collection of basic LEGO® bricks and our free teaching materials, educators can teach cross-cutting concepts about matter in biology, chemistry, and earth science.
ABOUT THE MOLECULE SET
Each LEGO brick represents an atom, and brick colors are the universal CPK standard colors for elements. Students can model elements, compounds and mixtures with the bricks and also model more complex concepts such as chemical reactions. The Molecule Set includes 10+ lessons in chemistry, biology and earth science:
- CHEMISTRY: The Chemical Reactions lessons teach students that a chemical reaction is a rearrangement of atoms into new molecules.
- BIOLOGY: The Photosynthesis lessons aid students in understanding that plants create most of their mass from air.
- EARTH SCIENCE: The Understanding Air lessons help students visualize the molecules in air to make sense of climate change and air pollution. The Understanding Oceans lessons connect increased carbon dioxide in the air with ocean acidification.
Read more about the Rationale for using LEGO bricks as atoms. You can make your own Molecule Sets by visiting our webpage: Information for Edgerton Center Molecule Sets. We are no longer able to sell Molecule Sets, unfortunately. Download the Molecules Sets Overview to learn more about the sets and curriculum.
Students are introduced to atoms, molecules, compounds, and mixtures, using LEGO bricks as atoms. In an engaging hands-on wet lab, students experience a chemical reaction and then model the same reaction with LEGO bricks.
Students model the photosynthesis reaction with LEGO bricks by building the products (glucose and oxygen) from the reactants (carbon dioxide and water). Students can model cellular respiration and build starch and cellulose to show how plants use glucose.
Using LEGO bricks as atoms, the students build a model of air as a mixture. Students also model combustion to produce carbon dioxide and air pollutants.
Understanding Oceans has students model ocean acidification using LEGO bricks as atoms. Students also learn more about pH and mercury biomagnification in food webs.
Various Additional Lesson Mats
Several additional reactions have been modeled with LEGO bricks - students build the reactants and products using a layout mat.