Design Challenge: Lewis Structure Spelling Bee

Design Challenge: Lewis Diagram Spelling Bee
Kids disassembling the levels of reality and creating molecules and solutions with atomic symbols.

In this design challenge: Lewis Structure Spelling Bee we introduce students to atoms, molecules, substances, and the idea of the Lewis Structure. With this design challenge the goal is to not only understand how atoms and their quantity come together to make molecules, but to also understand the electrons and their relationship to energy.

The Goal of the Design Challenge

This design challenge will allow teams of campers to explore atomic theory and language with the math and reactions of atoms, electrons and quantum electrodynamics. Each team will be given a molecule or a simple substance and must then create both a Lewis Structure diagram as well as a little story about it.

The Lewis Structure diagram must be built from magnetic letters and the electrons must be steel balls with a magnetic backing BEHIND the steel surface. They must work together to not only pull together enough symbols, numbers, steel balls and magnets to WRITE the formula and DIAGRAM the lewis structure.

The story should include:

  1. What that element or molecule does
  2. Where does that molecule or substance come from
  3. Why it is an important element, molecule or substance
  4. When it is safe or dangerous
  5. Whether it is easy to get or not
  6. How the electrons are accounted for


Students will be given a quick introduction to Lewis Structures Here. Then they will randomly choose a molecule or a substance. They will have a periodic table, access to computers and the internet, as well as a book detailing basic organic chemistry.

They must use these resources to tell the six question story of their molecule or substance. The only allowable exception is construction paper and scissors along with a stick of glue to extend their available atomic symbols. They will have 20 minutes to complete this challenge!

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