Mighty Molecules

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In this activity, learners use marshmallows and gum drops to construct seven models of molecules. Learners classify (solid, liquid or gas) and draw diagrams of the molecules. Learners can also create a table showing the chemical formula for each molecule and identify a common use for each chemical. Use this activity to introduce learners to molecules, compounds, and bonds.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • 4 miniature marshmallows (oxygen)
  • 7 red gum drops (hydrogen)
  • 7 green gum drops (chlorine)
  • 2 yellow gum drops (sulfur)
  • 25 toothpicks (covalent bonds)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Handbook of Chemistry or other reference


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
      • Gases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elements and Periodic Table
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Model Building


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


  • Little, Carlyn ; LaHart, David ; Meyers, Ted ; Weisblat, Brooks


  • All rights reserved, Museum of Science, Inc. (Miami, FL), 1997

Funding Source:

  • Unisys