This Cre8ate maths resource investigates the structure of some hydrocarbons. Molecules which have the same chemical formula but a different structure are called isomers. A printed sheet representing carbon and hydrogen atoms is cut up and used, as a kinaesthetic exercise, for students to build as many isomers as they can for two chemical formulae.
Students are then challenged to discover a 3-D shape with 60 vertices, made from regular pentagons and hexagons. Teachers may choose to give 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons to groups of students for them to build the model or make up the shape from its net.
Topics such as number patterns, simple algebra, reflection and rotation are included in this resource.
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Posted by Morpheus on 13th February 2012
Activity time: ~30mins
Level / prior knowledge: KS4 / valency and covalent bonding
Subject / curriculum links / skills: Chemistry / BTEC level 2 and GCSE / modelling
Preparation time: Photocopying only
Extra resources: None
Commentary: This resource is useful because it covers three different activities that can be used separately or in sequence. The resource contains slides that can be put onto the board or printed as handouts along with a slide that can be printed out several times per group to allow them to make in the first activity a range of Hydrocarbons, in the second a number of isomers and finally attempt a 3d structure. I used the first two activities to begin looking at the structures of hydrocarbons leading into the BTEC unit 4 – organic chemicals, the students found it much more fun than drawing out different structures and enabled them to gain confidence naming hydrocarbons.