Shake and Make: Charge Recognition

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In this activity (page 10), learners explore how molecules self-assemble according to forces of attraction and repulsion. Learners investigate how the placement of charge determines the possible structures that molecules can make when they come together. This activity can be performed as a demonstration if purchasing the magnetic pieces is cost prohibitive. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Human Body
      • Medicine
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Bonding
    • Motion and Forces
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure

Informal Categories

  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Arizona Science Center, 2012

Funding Source:

  • Science Education Partnership Award, National Institutes of Health