LEGO® Chemical Reactions

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This activity uses LEGO® bricks to represent atoms bonding into molecules and crystals. The lesson plan is for a 2.5 hour workshop (or four 45-minute classes). There is a "wet lab" chemistry experiment (mixing baking soda and calcium chloride with phenol red indicator), followed by a "LEGO lab" modeling phase that includes writing formulas using chemical notation. This lesson is also offered as a 2.5 hour field trip lesson at the MIT Edgerton Center.

Quick Guide

Materials List (per group of students)


Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys


  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Acids and Bases
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Gases
      • Changes of Phase
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elements and Periodic Table
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

To use this activity learners need to

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • smell
  • touch

Learning styles supported

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities
Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:


Kathleen M. Vandiver, Ph.D.


All Rights Reserved, MIT Edgerton Center, ©2009

Funding sources

  • MIT Edgerton Center



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