LEGO Bricks Activities

The purpose of this website and booklet is to show how various physical and chemical principles related to nanoscale science and technology can be demonstrated with LEGO® models. Three-dimensional models are excellent tools for grasping structure-function relationships. There are a number of reasons to consider using LEGO® bricks for this purpose. First, many people are familiar with LEGO® bricks, and most models can be built with a level of mechanical sophistication that does not intimidate or frustrate the user. Second, LEGO® bricks typically have many connection points, allowing tremendous flexibility in the structures that can be built. A set of bricks can be used to model structures of matter and the techniques used to study them. The authors are grateful to the National Science Foundation, through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) for Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces, and to LEGO® Dacta® for support of this project. We invite your comments on this booklet and website.

Exploring the Nanoworld with LEGO® Bricks

– a FREE book featuring: Structures at the Nanoscale, Probing the Structures of Materials at the Nanoscale, Structure-Property Relationships at the Nanoscale, Building Structures at the Nanoscale, Additional Instructions for Constructing Models

LEGO® Molecular-Scale Models

-contains building instructions for many additional molecular-scale models not included in the book, including ionic structures, discrete molecules, and polymer chains

LEGO® Stoichiometry

– illustrates the connection between ion charges and formulas of compounds

LEGO® Diffractometer

– models X-ray diffraction using a LEGO® NXT® system