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  • Writer's pictureMelissa

Experiencing Molecules

In this activity you will smell, taste and feel molecules.

Supplies:

  • a clove in a container

  • a piece of dark chocolate

  • some table salt

Instructions:


1) Open the container holding the clove and smell. The molecule that tells your brain you are smelling a clove is called eugenol (YOU jen all). Do you have cinnamon in your kitchen? The molecule that tells your brain you are smelling cinnamon is called cinnamaldehyde (sin ah MAL da hide). If you can find a stick of spearmint gum, give it a sniff. The molecule that tells your brain you are smelling spearmint is called carvone (CAR vone).


2) Find your piece of dark chocolate. If it is okay with your grownup, try the candy. The molecule that tells your brain you are tasting chocolate is called theobromine (Theo BRO mean). Do you have a banana in your kitchen? The molecule that tells your brain you are tasting a banana is called isoamyl acetate (I so am ill ASA tate). How about a grapefruit? The molecule that tells your brain you are tasting grapefruit is called naringin (NAR ring in).


3) Find your sample of table salt and touch the crystals. Can you describe how they feel? Smooth or rough? Grainy or powdery? Slippy or slimy? This molecule is called sodium chloride. Do you have any sugar in your kitchen? That molecule is called sucrose. Have you ever cracked an egg? The shell is mostly made up of the molecule calcium carbonate. Have you ever felt a prickly feeling on your tongue when you eat fresh pineapple? The molecule that causes that prickly sensation is called bromelain (BRO ma leen).


4) Cleanup: safe to throw in the trash.

 

While letters are the building blocks of words, tiny particles called atoms are the building blocks of molecules. The words that letters make up are put together to create the world you enter when you read a book. The molecules that atoms make up, on the other hand, are put together to create the physical world you see, smell, touch and taste. Words can have so many different lengths, sounds and letter combinations! Just like there are tons of ways that letters may be put together to make the words you speak and read, there are tons of ways that atoms may be put together to make the molecules around you.


These are ball and stick models of molecules.

The balls are atoms and the sticks are the bonds

that hold the atoms together to make a molecule.


Click below to download a pdf of the Experiencing Molecules DIY science kit for easier printing.

experience molecules
.pdf
Download PDF • 103KB


Make messes, have fun and spread science joy!

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