Update for 2018: register
You can always email us and we will give you the most current contact!
Below are brief descriptions of the current five annual events for the Molympics. Detailed rules, scoring and information are given in our Google Docs. These photos were tweeted — for events with just water, no goggles were needed.
Teams of students are given one minute to draw as many tally marks as possible and then using dimensional analysis calculate how long in years it would take to make one mole of tally marks based on the group's average number of marks.
Class of Karen Sorensen at Indianola High School, Indianola, IA
Teams of students must squeeze, as accurately as possible, one mole of water molecules into a pre-massed graduated cylinder without going over.
Class of Doug Ragan at Hudsonville High School, Hudsonville, MI
Are all metals the same?
Teams of students must place one mole of a certain metal into a pre-massed container without going over.
Class of Grazyna Zreda at Tanque Verde HS, Tucson, AZ
Teams of students must build the tallest freestanding tower of #2 stoppers, measure the height in centimeters and then calculate the height of one mole of stoppers in metres.
Class of Samantha Ramaswamy at Penn-Trafford High School, Harrison City, PA
Avogadro’s fitness challenge
Teams of students race against the clock to complete 6 bent-knee situps, 02 sidesteps, 10 pushups and 23 jumping jacks in a tag-team relay format.
Class of Melanie Shedd at Principia Upper School, St Louis, MO
FAQ for Molympics
We have more extensive FAQ as a Google Doc, but here are a few for teachers who would like to know if the Molympics is something they would like to try in 2017.
How do I register?
Go to Molympics information article on this website.
What materials do I need to run the events?
All materials are common labware or household items. We have a complete list of materials in our Google Docs for a 24-student class working in teams of 3 or 4 with
1 to 2 stations for each event.
Can we compete on a different day, multiple days (block scheduling, etc)?
Yes! This is a friendly competition but mainly a learning experience for our students. Please run your events as close to Mole Day as possible, but the actual day is up to you.
What is the deadline for submitting class event results?
Please submit results from your school by 5:00 pm EST on Friday, October 27. The planning team will then tally the results and determine winners. We have made a simple Google Form to collect results.
When will the winners be announced?
We hope to announce the results of the competition by Monday, October 30. The actual date depends upon the number of participating teams and data crunching that needs to be done.
What if I have to drop out?
No problem! We’d love to have you join us, but things come up. Some schools run their Molympics events on June 2nd as an end-of-year activity.
What if my students have never discussed the mole?
No problem! For many schools, this competition is the introduction to the mole concept. It is up to the participating teachers to decide how much/little help to give during events. We just ask that you keep the spirit of fairness alive as you run the events. (e.g., AP students get no prompts whatsoever, while Chem 1 students may be given a pointer or two as the events progress).
Events and rules can be discussed with students ahead of time, but no practicing.
May my AP/IB students participate?
When can I expect my materials so I can prepare them ahead of time?
Event descriptions can be found here (https://goo.gl/CAGr18) and will also be sent via email to the teachers who register.
What if computer access in my building is limited?
All of the events can be run without computer access. Teachers can enter results into the Google Forms at a time when they can easily access a computer.
What if I don’t have Google Docs? Can my school still participate?
Teachers who do not use Google Docs can still participate. You can email us, and we will email you the information (Douglas Ragan, firstname.lastname@example.org).
What if my school blocks social media accounts?
The events will keep you busy during class time. Students are encouraged to post updates via Twitter #molympics, but it is OK if you can’t.
How much time does it take to set up materials for the events?
About 30 minutes if it is your first time running the events (pre-massing graduated cylinders and cups takes the most time). It also depends on how many stations you want to set up. A class of 20-24 can rotate through two stations per event during a class period, but you could set up more stations if you want to.
Does a school have to compete in all five events?
No! Select all or only a couple of events for your school but, note that winning the trophy is based on the total number of points from all five events.
Can I submit other events for Molympics?
Yes, please! We would love to hear your ideas for additional events as well as ways to improve the current events.
What if I don’t have anyone (other teachers or student assistants) to help me?
Molympics can be run like any other lab experiment that you do. Students are pretty self-sufficient with most of the events, but we recommend that the teacher closely monitors the Avogadro Fitness Challenge for safety purposes.