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Sugar Crystal Challenge

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on surface area and how the shape of sugar crystals may differ as they are grown from sugars of different grades of coarseness. Students explore surface area, nanostructures, and work in teams and participate in hands-on activities.

Age Levels:

8 - 14
Objectives 
  • Learn about nanostructures.
  • Learn about crystals.
  • Learn about surface area.
  • Learn about teamwork and working in groups.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • nanostructures
  • surface area
  • problem solving
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students learn about how surface area can change at the nanoscale. Students work in teams to explore different forms of sugar at different levels of coarseness. They then predict how sugar crystals grown from different sugar solutions might be different at the molecular level depending upon the coarseness of the original sugar. Student make predictions, conduct research, and present their proposal to the class.

Resources/Materials 
  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.


Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
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