Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Boys of Science

Okay, honestly, home schooling isn't always exactly a bed of roses. That could qualify for the "Understatement of the Century Contest", if there were such a thing.

But today was good. Today we were in the groove. So, I bring you our adventures with carbon.



We began with A Feast for Yeast, the classic yeast/sugar/warm water in a bottle, experiment.


Talked about yeast being a living organism (a fungus), and how it eats the sugar and gives off carbon dioxide, just like we do. While it did its thing we also talked about the carbon cycle and moved on to the different forms of carbon.

Using the pictures in our book as a guide, we attempted to make models of the carbon atoms in different forms. The pictures, however, are somewhat cartoonish, so our models may not be 100% accurate.


Graphite


This is the carbon in your pencil "lead". The atoms are spread out in flat sheets that can slide around.



Diamond


We couldn't tell very well from the picture exactly what the 3D structure was supposed to look like, but we're pretty sure it begins like this. Looking online later, we found a better representation. We were on the right track...


The carbon atoms are all connected, making diamonds very strong.



And, lastly, we bring you the rare and elusive
buckminsterfullerene


Our materials wouldn't hold the soccer-ball shape we were going for, so we settled for a partial model of the buckyball, but here's a cool one we found online.



Wyatt thought that draping it over his face would help give it the curved surface area he was trying for!


We didn't bother trying to make a model of the carbon found in charcoal because it's basically disorganized.

Well, maybe we did. When we put the pieces back in the box!

1 comment:

Deborah said...

We were working with yeast last week. We were trying to grow mold. Oddly enough, it hasn't grown. Funny how when you don't want mold it grows...

Science is fun :o)! Love all your models -- both human and scientific!