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Simulation #2- Bucky Ball

You can let the students simulate whatever they like (don't force them to do the simulations you have in mind, but try to keep them at least using the carbon meshes). They will often select the bucky ball. In contrast to graphene, **no input values **are requested for the bucky ball. Ask the students why.

Prior to this, in the building phase of the activity, you can get the students to figure out how many atoms of carbon are in a bucky ball. Here is the best way I have found so far.

1) Have the students find the shape that makes the bucky ball round-- not flat like graphene. (pentagon)

2) Place the bucky ball on the table, sitting on a pentagon. There will be another pentagon directly above it. Point this out to the students.

3) Ask the students to work together in a group to figure out how many pentagons are in the bucky ball. They can compare answers. Have them keep track/ count and point so that they don't lose track of the count. If they pick up the bucky ball and start turning it, let them try this, but after a while point out that it may be easier to keep track if they leave the bucky ball on the table.

you can provide hints related to symmetry. Some students pick this up right away from the initial 2 opposing pentagons.

4) Ask the students to figure out how many carbon atoms are in a bucky ball. If they start counting all the atoms, ask them whether they can think of an easier method, using some of the information they have already figured out.

You should take some time looking at the symmetry of the bucky ball so that you can see the answer yourself.