Chemistry students face the ultimate judges: fifth-graders

When Santa Catalina School chemistry students got started on their so-called Mole Project, they were met with these instructions: “a fifth-grader must understand your project.” What better way to put that mandate to the test than to have actual fifth-graders take a look?

For the project, students created posters explaining moles as a unit of measurement for large quantities of very small things, such as atoms or molecules. The students laid out their posters on picnic tables in the Lower and Middle School playground then made themselves scarce as fifth-graders came over to peruse the projects, answering a list of questions to see what they understood. After a time, the chemistry students returned to explain the projects and clarify what the fifth-graders were puzzling over.

Though the youngsters struggled at first, in the end their older guides succeeded in helping them learn that a mole is a very big number.

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