Lab: Constructing Organic Compounds
Modified Lab: For schools without molecular kits.
All elements are made of atoms. Compounds are formed when two or more elements combine to form a different
type of matter. A chemical formula is a shortcut chemists take to describe a specific compound. It tells you the
numbers and types of atoms that make up a single unit of a compound.
Objective: You will build models of different organic compounds using the molecular kits to determine what element they
have in common and determine how many atoms of each element are in each molecule.
After you construct each model, fill in the blanks in the Data and
Observations table and draw each model as part of your data. Make
sure to label and color.
Data and Observations:
Chemical Formula Number of Atoms in Compound
Hydrogen Nitrogen Sulfur Carbon Oxygen Total
(RED) (Yellow) (BLUE) (GREEN) (ORANGE)
1. CH3CH2CH2COOH (fatty
2. CO2 (carbon dioxide)
3. CH4 (methane)
4. C6H12O6 (glucose)
5. C3H7NO2S (amino acid)
Draw each model. Label and color each atom.
1. Fatty acid
2. carbon dioxide
5. amino acid
Questions and Conclusions
1. Based on your data and observations, what element do organic compounds have in common?
2. What are organic compounds? Do they other elements in common?
3. Give examples of other organic compounds.
4. All foods are organic. However, in grocery stores certain foods are labeled “organic” and others are not. Explain this.