Learners with little or no prior knowledge of atomic or molecular structure can follow simple directions to digitally “build” a wide variety of molecules out of three atoms: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. This educational game received a 2013 “Best of the Web” award from the Center for Digital Education. Click “Nanolab” to enter the game environment on the web page. The resource could be ideal for 6th graders, for middle school students who have disabilities, and/or for students struggling with the content. Students are expected to have 3 key takeaways from this activity:
A huge variety of molecules can be built from three important elements: carbon, hydrogen, and atom.
Patterns can be observed in simple molecules and also in extended molecular structures.
Molecules that support life, such as sugars, are much more complex than simpler molecules, such as carbon dioxide or water.
For supplementary teacher support, see the Molecularium Project’s "Educators Resource Guide", with more than 15 lessons related to molecular literacy. Here is a link to the Guide: