Molecules in Motion

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"Molecules in Motion" explores how materials behave and change in a vacuum. Participants can experiment with putting various objects in a small vacuum chamber and then observing the objects as air is removed from the chamber. Activity includes a facilitation guide with potential misconceptions, Earth & space science infosheets with NASA connections, table sign, and activity training video. All public-facing materials also available in Spanish.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • Magnetic whiteboard
  • Red molecule dot magnets
  • Mini bell jar with syringe
  • Whiteboard marker
  • 2 squishy toys
  • 2 gel-type squishy balls
  • 2 ping pong balls
  • Space science connection info sheet
  • Bowl to hold objects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Motion and Forces

Informal Categories

  • Science Festivals Activity


Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 1612482