High School Chemistry

You’ve probably heard this story already – it was one of Pete’s favorites.

In one of our high school science classes – I’m going to say it was freshman honors general science with Mr. Yannick, but I could be wrong – Pete and I were partners whenever possible. One of our first ”lab” assignments was to make ball-and-stick models of molecules. Our teacher said something to the effect of ”pick your favorite molecule, and model it with the parts you have.”

When we were done, the teacher went around to each group and asked which molecule they’d constructed, and what elements it contained. Most groups would say something like, ”We made Methane. It has one Carbon and four Hydrogen atoms,” or ”We made Carbon Dioxide. It has one Carbon and two Oxygen molecules.”

Of course, when he got to Pete and me, Pete busted out with, ”We made a dog! It has a tail that wags. Ruff, ruff!”

The class, predictably, lost it. And the teacher (I believe it was his first year of teaching) was predictably flustered. Unfortunately, he insisted that we come up with the proper chemical name for our pet (I can’t remember what we came up with) and explain what each ball and stick represented. But it was still totally worth it, and I always think of our little dog molecule whenever I look at those models.

Submitted by Rich


2 Responses

  1. Rich

    Note: This is not our actual model. Sadly, the original dog molecule was deconstructed before the end of the school year, though we did manage to keep it around as a mascot for quite a while.

    October 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  2. Christine Keyes Suplick

    It was Yanek. He’s probably still traumatized. Tell the pencil-in-the-pants story. That one is my favorite.

    October 14, 2012 at 12:04 am

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