Nanotechnology is concerned with science at the scale 1-100 nanometres – larger than atoms or molecules – but still very small objects. Things this small can have unusual properties, and the implications for using nanotechnology in everyday life are wide-ranging, from medicine, to computing, to sunscreens.

There are several different methods of building a buckyball model. It is a mixture of pentagons and hexagons and if you have some structural building kits (of rods and connectors) you may be able to make one using those (use a football as a model).


Curriculum links

Mathematical content for science subjects 8.6 Geometry and trigonometry
a) Appreciate angles and shapes in regular 2D and 3D structures.
b) Visualise and represent 2D and 3D forms including two-dimensional representations of 3D objects.
c) Understand the symmetry of 2D and 3D shapes.

Create a buckyball!

BuckyballA buckyball has a similar structure to a football (soccer ball) and is made up of pentagons and hexagons. This is a very stable structure. Try to build your own model of a buckyball.

More information about the buckyball and carbon nanostructures can be found on this factsheet.







Activity: Create a buckyball

There are some pictures here on how to make a buckyball from K'NEX. The colours of the rods used will not match all KNEX kits. If you cannot get the rods to bend to form the pentagon shapes try using a bigger sized rod. However it may not work with all types of K'NEX if the rods are too rigid. The final model is big!

There are some instructions on several websites outlining how to build a buckyball using paper: