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Learner holds up an atomic structure model of graphene


Elemental carbon has many different structural forms including graphite, diamond, carbon nanotubes and buckyballs. The arrangement of atoms at the nanoscale dramatically impacts a material’s macroscale properties and behavior. Hands-on activities explore: observable phenomena such as conductivity of graphite; molecular model-building of different forms; and how new technology may affect society.

Activities and Programs

Children's hands exploring electrical conductivity with wires using cloth printed with graphene ink showing carbon structure model

Exploring Materials - Graphene

In this activity, learners will use tape and graphite to make graphene and test the conductivity of graphite.
A molecular model of graphene

Nobel Winning Experiment

In this O Wow Moments video, Mr. O re-creates a Nobel Prize winning experiment with graphene.
A person inside of a balloon model of a carbon nanotube.

Balloon Nanotubes (Giant Hanging Model)

In this activity, learners use a balloon model to observe how the carbon atoms are arranged in a carbon nanotube
Group of students building a carbon nanotube model out of balloons

Balloon Nanotubes Tabletop

In this activity, learners build a model of carbon nanotubes out of balloons to explore the material's structure and properties.
Faciltator showing physical models of carbon to a visitor at a NanoDays event

Forms of Carbon

In this activity, learners interact with models of four different forms of carbon to explore how the nanoscale arrangement of atoms dramatically impacts a material’s macroscale behavior.
Young learner in a purple jacket assembles a nanotube model made of plastic rods and spheres

Nanotube Models

In this activity, learners will be able to use Molecular Visions model kits to build carbon nanotubes.
Two learners and one facilitator look and discuss a space elevator concept that one of the learners drew on paper

Exploring Nano & Society - Space Elevator

In this activity, learners imagine and draw what a space elevator might look like, what support systems would surround it, and what other technologies it might enable.
Paper Buckyball structure being folded into shape

Exploring Structures - Buckyballs

In this activity, learners fold up a precut shape to make a model of a buckyball.
A person using thin slice of graphite to cut ice.

Exploring Properties - Heat Transfer

In this activity, learners investigate how quickly heat is transferred through two different materials.
Small science big deal table sign

Nanotechnology: Small Science, Big Deal!

This longer activity combines multiple NanoDays activities with a companion side presentation about nanotechnology.