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Nope, not that mole

Posted on Dec. 26, 2018

stuffed moles sewn by students

RIVERDALE GRADE SCHOOL – For those who have forgotten their chemistry studies, a mole is a unit used to measure atoms and molecules. Teacher Jill Leve has a unique way of reinforcing the concept for all of her 8th grade students – by asking them to present their research to another grade and leave behind a cuddly surprise. 

A mole is equal to 6.02 x 1023. How can you illustrate that for younger students who have no concept of that math? It was quite a challenge for the group selected to present to preschoolers. They opted for a skit with costumes, while most created a computer slideshow. 

"Not a lot of people know about the mole as a unit of measurement," says one student. "It’s not just this ugly animal that digs up your yard." 

But the critter does make an excellent visual takeaway. Each group designed and sewed a stuffed mole, employing two basic sewing stiches and their creativity. This year, some were dressed as a farmer, genie, wizard, princess and basketball player. The latter ties to one group’s presentation: "A mole of basketballs could make a planet the size of the earth."