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Build-your-own-Buckyball: Introducing Materials in the Eighth Grade

Summary: Build-your-own-Buckyball:
Introducing Materials in the Eighth Grade
NSF-DMR05-20415Education Outreach
MRL Education Staff, Materials professor Ram Seshadri and graduate students Emily Kang (Teacher
Education Program) and Kate Page (Materials) developed a lesson plan that is based on an available
molecular model kit for the carbon-60 molecule (the Buckminsterfullerene or "Buckyball"). This lesson
plan is aligned with the California State Standards for eighth grade science and math and builds on our
existing popular Buckyball workshop which serves to inspire and catalyze interest in science. The
module focuses on the scale of the nanometer, the relationship between molecular structure and
material properties, and chemical bonding. Integrated into the middle school curriculum, it introduces
students to Chemistry, Materials Science and Nanotechnology as well as current UCSB research while
also reinforcing the importance of higher education to first-generation college-going students. In
summer 2007, the new curriculum was presented in the UCSB MESA (Math Engineering Science
Achievement) Summer Algebra Academies at Santa Paula and Fillmore High Schools and La Casa de
La Raza in Santa Barbara to over 220 students.


Source: Akhmedov, Azer - Department of Mathematics, University of California at Santa Barbara


Collections: Mathematics