Since 2004, the Education Programs staff at the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) has presented a "Build your own Buckyball" activity to school groups visiting the UCSB campus. The activity is based on a molecular model kit of the Carbon-60 molecule first developed by Sir Harry Kroto, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of the Buckminsterfullerene (Buckyball), to provide K-12 students with a hands-on way to share in the discovery of the structure of this unique molecule.
Students, ranging from elementary to early high school, are given a brief PowerPoint introduction focused on Materials science and the scale of the nanometer, different forms of carbon and the relationship between molecular structure and material properties.
As part of the workshop, students build their own six-inch Buckyball models with instruction by UCSB graduate student volunteers. The workshop takes approximately one hour to complete but is flexible enough to adapt to different environments including summer programs, school year classrooms, after-school programs and special events.
For more information on the workshop please contact our education director Dorothy Pak .