A Fun and Effective Exercise for Understanding Lattices and Space Groups
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: May 9, 2008
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
I allow students to spend two class periods on this project and follow with a one hour discussion and wrap-up session.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
This exercise is based on discovery learning. Students need little introduction to lattices and space groups. They can figure things out for themselves. For example, they will figure out what a glide plane is, and if you tell them ahead of time it takes away from the learning experience. The last question, which asks them to make their own symmetrical drawings, is difficult but often leads to some spectacular results.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Assignment description, hand outs, and instructor's notes. (Microsoft Word 18MB Nov12 08)
- Assignment description, hand outs, and instructor's notes. (Acrobat (PDF) 239kB Nov12 08)