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11-06-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Chemis-"tree" Ornament Project

Yes, reread that title. Chemis-tree. Chemistry.

So in explanation I have to make an ornament literally for a Christmas tree for chemistry class, hence "Chemis-tree".

You can see the details of this project here:

Spoiler!


I'm not very creative when it comes to things like this. Of course, our teacher said there are many, MANY things related to Chemistry, almost basically science itself, but still can't think of anything.


One example was a plastic ball full of puffy balls representing electrons, and a string-glued center of puff balls representing protons and the neutrons glued together. Another one was a model of a chemical structure of some elements combined.


As seen in the spoiler above, I'm graded on quality/stability, creativity, time to be seemingly spent, presentation of chemistry, and a written paper which is easy. So I need to make a stable project that relates to chemistry while it looks like it needed 3 or so hours to make it. I could careless if it looks like it needed 5 hours, 5 hours is great, but I'm fine with 3.


I really need some ideas. I was thinking of making a cookie/bread dough rectangle of a random element of the periodic table, but I'm still not quite sure of how big it would be and if it would be too heavy.


So I'd like some ideas from a lot of you guys. Any, many, great, stupid ideas would work.


**Take stability and quality seriously. This WILL be hung on a tree that is going to be put up in class.
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11-06-2011   #2 (permalink)
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I need to know what tools you have available before I can offer any suggestions. That being said, you can always just create a model molecule, it's fairly easy. You can buy most of the stuff to do so at any local craft store.
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11-06-2011   #3 (permalink)
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I have tape and glue...lol

I have cotton balls...thumbtacks...honestly I don't know what other specific items would work for your suggestion. I could buy, but my chemistry teacher said try to use items within my household and don't go out to buy stuff. Of course I still can, but at least not to use like $20.

You could just try asking me what I may have and I can go hunting for it.
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11-06-2011   #4 (permalink)
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When I said tools, I meant tool tools lol. Like drills, hammers, etc. But you really shouldn't have to work this hard on it anyway. I'd say go to a craft store and pick up some of those wooden balls that they sell, you can get a bag of them for like $5. Get some of those and some short dowel rods, drill small holes into wooden balls (slightly smaller than the dowel rods), and then put dowel rods into holes. Make the attachments like that until you have a successful molecule, the end!!

I dunno, if you don't have a drill handy then maybe you should just hang a bottle of Gatorade from the tree. It has electrolytes.
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11-06-2011   #5 (permalink)
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My dad has a drill, I think it's good enough.

so am I creating a specific molecule or is it some random one like:



because I still have to describe what the molecule is and how it relates to chemistry. Plus I need to put in a string/hook or something so it can be hanged on the tree.
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11-06-2011   #6 (permalink)
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You could easily just look up a molecule, no real problem there. For instance, a sulphuric acid molecule, a steel molecule, a methane molecule... I'd probably go with methane, it's not very complicated, and should be easy to explain. Here's an example of a model methane molecule:



Real easy, you could make that no problem. Four hydrogen, one carbon. Yup.
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11-06-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Lol all right. I guess I can just color over them with marker or paint to distinguish them. Thanks for the idea.




I'm still open to other ideas though. Why you others no suggest. why. Come give ideas. COME.
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11-06-2011   #8 (permalink)
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You mentioned cookies. You can bake? How about a large tray of brownies, cut into squares and decorated with the periodic table elements using vanilla frosting. Brownies are easy to make especially if you use ready mixes. You just pop it in the oven, play a game until it cooks, cut them into even pieces, and then write letters with icing. Brownies also have better staying power; they don't harden or go bad for a few days. You're just gonna need help transporting the tray. ^^;
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11-07-2011   #9 (permalink)
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My first thought was origami. They can be colorful and chem-related if you try.

But then I read that because it has to be 2d, it can't be made of 100% of paper? That teacher is silly. :|

Nevertheless Origami - Folding Instructions
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11-07-2011   #10 (permalink)
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^ Ehh don't really wanna risk it lol. I can do better than paper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catharsis
You mentioned cookies. You can bake? How about a large tray of brownies, cut into squares and decorated with the periodic table elements using vanilla frosting. Brownies are easy to make especially if you use ready mixes. You just pop it in the oven, play a game until it cooks, cut them into even pieces, and then write letters with icing. Brownies also have better staying power; they don't harden or go bad for a few days. You're just gonna need help transporting the tray. ^^;
I don't bake, they were just an example. Our teacher showed us (or well told us) that someone made a gingerbread cookie and modeled it out of something...forgot what it was but it was made related to chemistry.

Though your idea sounds nice, but I'd only need like one brownie though lol. Even so that's still maybe 1 or 2 hours worth of work.

Or maybe I could make multiple like you said, I don't know if he would accept it. I'll have to ask.
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11-07-2011   #11 (permalink)
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The great thing about brownies is that they don't take much work. ^^; You just open the box, add water (or eggs), and pour them into a pan. Making one or one whole pan of brownies take the same amount of time since you just mix & pour & pop in the oven. The actual "work" is cutting them into squares (easy enough) and painting with icing (readily bought from the grocery in a nice pillbury tub).

I also suggested this because teachers are easily bribed with food. They think you're sweet and nice by baking for them. Nothing softens people like baked sweets. lol
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11-07-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Salt dough is cheap and easy to make. You can use it like modelling clay -- just gotta let it set so it can harden and stuff.


As far as what exactly you could do with the salt dough though, is a toughie. The first idea I thought of was some ochem structures since they're pretty simple to make/identify. They're also a bit more involved than just regular molecule models and nice to look at than regular compounds (symmetry also helps keep its balance while it's hanging on the tree).
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