Helping Molecules Get Along

Students learn about the basics of molecules and how they interact with each other. They learn about the idea of polar and non-polar molecules and how they act with other fluids and surfaces. Students acquire a conceptual understanding of surfactant molecules and how they work on a molecular level. They also learn of the importance of surfactants, such as soaps, and their use in everyday life. Through associated activities, students explore how surfactant molecules are able to bring together two substances that typically do not mix, such as oil and water. This lesson and its associated activities are easily scalable for grades 3-12.