Monday, February 3, 2020

Reviewing the Molecular Model of Photosynthesis with Zometools

I first had the kids make molecular models of photosynthesis back in 2017.

Look how wee and smol they were!

Both kids love biology, and it's one of the numerous science subjects that we're constantly studying (current science studies also include psychology, environmental science, geology, and meteorology). So it shouldn't be too surprising that this summer, during a study of wildflowers and trees, I wanted to review photosynthesis.

Fortunately, an activity that was awesome and fun two years ago is still awesome and fun, and kids who are two years older are can take that fun activity and make it even more sophisticated and instructive.

So out again came the Zometools, and once again the kids modeled the process of photosynthesis!

Here are the sets of Zometools that I own. I've had the Creator set for several years, and I bought the molecular modeling kit in 2016, Amazon helpfully informs me:

We use both of these kits often, often instead of various other types of modeling kits that we now don't have to buy.

Here, again, is the chemical formula of photosynthesis:

6CO+ 6H2O + sunlight ------> C6H12O+ 6O2

Very simply (as in, there's lots more to it, but here's what you can easily model), carbon dioxide and water combine with sunlight to create glucose and oxygen. Here are the six carbon dioxide and the six water molecules:

In this production of photosynthesis, the role of sunlight will be played by a young Indiana Jones:

Our favorite little murderbrat also used to be so smol and wee!

Always destructive, though:

Seriously, that cat is DESIGNED for destruction!

Once you get the murderbrat distracted trying to murder something else, then you can take apart your carbon dioxide and water, and challenge yourself to reform it into glucose, with an oxygen remainder:

I love how much more complicated the glucose molecule is than the components that created it:

And look! Syd is also so impressed by how beautiful a glucose molecule looks in three dimensions that she's keeled over!

Either that, or Jones was busy murdering her...

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