Exploring the Nanoworld with LEGO Bricks: Structure-Property Relationships at the Nanoscale

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In this activity (pages 32-41), learners learn how the atomic and molecular arrangement of matter are related to physical properties. This activity also introduces materials at the cutting edge of nanoscale science and technology, where the size of individual solid particles of material approaches molecular dimensions. Learners learn about concepts like polymer cross-linking, giant magnetoresistance, and plasmon resonance. Additional instructions are provided in Appendices 3.2 and 3.6.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • LEGO blocks of different sizes and colors


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • Vibration and Waves
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure

Informal Categories

  • Model Building
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • LEGO Dacta