Mercury Mat

MIT Edgerton Center | Molecule Sets: Additional Reaction Mats

With this set, it is possible to experience additional chemical reactions modeled with LEGO™ bricks. The students build the reactants and products using a layout mat.

  • Epson salt and ammonia reaction mat
  • Iron and oxygen reaction (rusting) mat
  • Baking soda and vinegar reaction mat
  • Trichloroethylene pollution cleanup mat
  • Toxic mercury in our environment mat
  • Vog (volcanic smog) mat
Oceans Webinar Hands

MIT Edgerton Center | Molecule Sets: MIT Edgerton Center | Molecule Sets: Understanding Oceans Lesson

This lesson is appropriate for ages 11 and older. Understanding Oceans has students model ocean acidification using LEGO™ bricks as atoms. The students also learn more about pH and how changes with the natural pH can lead to negative impacts.


MIT Edgerton Center | Molecule Sets: Understanding Air Lesson

This lesson is appropriate for ages 11 and older. To better understand air and climate change, the program emphasizes the molecular composition of air. Using LEGO™ bricks as atoms, the students build a model of air as a mixture. Next, they model a combustion to see how burning fossil fuels adds carbon dioxide and other unhealthy pollutants into the air.

Photosynthesis Photo

MIT Edgerton Center | Molecule Sets: Photosynthesis Lesson

This lesson is appropriate for ages 11 and older. The students model the photosynthesis reaction with LEGO™ bricks by building the products from the reactants. Student start with carbon dioxide and water molecules and use them to create glucose and oxygen. Students can show how plants use glucose by modeling cellular respiration and by building starch and cellulose.

BSCC Reactants

MIT Edgerton Center | Molecule Sets: Chemical Reactions Unit

This unit is appropriate for ages 11 and older. The students are introduced to atoms, molecules, compounds, and mixtures, using LEGO™ bricks as atoms. Participating in a hands-on wet lab, students experience a chemical reaction, and then they can model the same reaction with LEGO™ bricks.

slider view of olin containment area 900 x 600

Working with Stakeholders | Engagement and Translation Advisory Committe

The MIT SRP Engagement and Translation Advisory Committee (ETAC) is comprised of representatives from Wilmington, MA, constituents from the Passamaquoddy Tribe, members of the MIT SRP, EPA representatives, State officials, and other key advisors.  The collective working interest of the ETAC members focuses on public health and environmental concerns, with MIT SRP serving as the bridge and a hub to advance stakeholder interactions and bidirectional discussions.

MIT SRP held an ETAC meeting with stakeholders involved with issues relating to the Olin Chemical Superfund Site.  In addition to MIT SRP members, attendees also included Wilmington community members, members of the Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee, the leader of Silent Spring, and members of the EPA Superfund Project Management Team.  The theme of the meeting centered on ways that MIT can help community members and the EPA.  At this meeting, the SRP team helped to bring together two critical stakeholder groups:  the Wilmington community and the EPA.  As the moderator, Dr. Bevin Engelward facilitated an in-depth discussion of the current state of the Olin Chemical Superfund Site such that community members could hear the perspective of the EPA.  Likewise, the EPA representatives heard the viewpoints and issues about site clean-up and water monitoring plans from community members.  The community members expressed their continual concern and frustration pertaining to the watershed impact, definition of the groundwater contamination plume, and the remediation timeline.  This ETAC meeting gave EPA an opportunity beyond the Agency’s regular Olin stakeholder update meetings to address specific community questions.  Unlike the stakeholder discussions initiated by the EPA where the Superfund project team designed the agenda items, the topics at this ETAC meeting were driven by the community members.  As such, the Superfund project team could respond directly to what the community felt were their most pressing concerns.  In this fashion, the MIT SRP team member helped to bridge a difficult conversation between community members and EPA representatives.  While cleanup is underway, community members feel that the pace of cleanup is staggeringly slow and so they worry about continued spreading of toxic chemicals even during the cleanup period.  In the end, each side understood better the viewpoint of the others which will undoubtedly help to grease the wheels toward a mutually agreeable resolution at some point in the future.