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Polyhedral Model Kit

Polyhedral Model Kit

Type: D, G, I, L    |    Level: AP, HS

The Polyhedral Model Kit simplifies visualization of more than 40 complex chemical structures that involve polyhedral shapes. Many of these structures would commonly be discussed in science and engineering courses such as inorganic and solid-state chemistry, chemical engineering, geology, industrial chemistry, environmental science, materials science, soil science, and physics. The kit provides an alternative view of how structural components fit together that cannot be represented by ball-and-stick or space-filling models. Because structures are built with tetrahedral and octahedral units instead of individual atoms, models can be assembled quickly. Since students focus on units larger than atoms, they can more readily visualize and comprehend complicated structures.

The Polyhedral Model Kit nicely complements the ICE Solid State Model Kit. Each kit gives different insights into molecular structures, an important pedagogical objective; used together they can induce real comprehension of structure–property relationships. More information about the Polyhedral Model Kit and directions for assembling the more than 40 structures that can be built with it—such as NaCl, ZnS, H2O(s), rutile, perovskites, gibbsite, talc, muscovite, and quartz—can be found at The Polyhedral Model Kit was used to build the Salt Model which is also available from ICE.

The Polyhedral Model Kit comes with a manual and the following components:

• 60 Triangular pyramid (tetrahedron top) • 100 Blue pompoms (1/2")
• 60 Triangular base (tetrahedron bottom) • 100 Assorted pompoms (1/2")
• 180 Square pyramid (octahedron half) • 100 Yellow pompoms (1")
• 60 Square base (square half) • 100 Assorted pompoms (1")
• 230 2-prong connector • 230 4-prong connector

These pieces permit assembly of 60 tetrahedral units, 78 octahedral units, 24 square pyramidal units, and 18 square planar units. Two or three kits are adequate for 20 students working in small teams, especially if larger structures are built by teams working together.

Click the ICE structure to view the table of contents for the Polyhedral Model Kit.

Click the ICE structure for an excerpt from the Polyhedral Model Kit.

Replacement parts are available for the Polyhedral Model Kit.

The Polyhedral Model Kit was produced by University of Wisconsin–Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and is distributed by ICE.