The Creative Science
A Buckyball Sculpture - more details 1997
The Angmering School (West Sussex) was the first school in the world to make
C60, Buckminsterfullerene -
two years before the Nobel prize was awarded to the scientists who
discovered it !
To commemorate this outstanding achievement the students at the school
decided to build a giant 'buckyball' sculpture,
to be fixed in pride of place at the entrance of the school. The Creative
Science Centre was involved throughout the project.
Deciding on the design
Students, teachers and the CSC discussed various design strategies making
and testing models as we went along.
We eventually decided on a plastic sheet construction which seemed to be the
best trade off between costs,
component availability and ease of construction.
Choosing the materials
Polystyrene sheet (3 mm thick) was brought from a standard artist suppliers
and cut up into 4 or 5 bars (500 x 120 mm,
60 red and 30 white). A combination of nuts, bolts, plastic rivets and
cement were used to join the bars together.
This was done in two days at the end of the 1997 summer term as part of an
The red bars were glued together to form regular pentagons. Three holes were
drilled at every corner of the pentagons.
The white bars were then drilled and bolted one-by-one to the pentagons
eventually forming the completed ball.
The final structure was light weight, strong and looked extremely impressive.
Unfortunatly the sculpture did not survive the storms and had to be taken
down - a new one is planned.
'Students model is a link with Nobel Prize winners', West Sussex Gazette,
July 24, 1997.
'The beautiful Buckyball', Littlehampton Gazette, August 1997.
'Buckyball molecule created', West Sussex Gazette, May 21, 1998.
'Creative electronics', University of Sussex Bulletin, Oct. 24th 1997.
'Buckyballs and Beyond', Science Museum handout, 6 May - 11 Oct. 1998
The design team :
Teachers - Jan Meering (chemistry), Carrie Abbott (craft, design and
technology), Gemma Ellis (physics).
Students - 20 Year Seven Pupils
CSC - Jonathan Hare, Sussex University
Funding - The Salters Institute
The pictures show various stages of the project unfolding ...
Page last update: June 1999
Contents are copyright Creative Science Centre, University of Sussex.
THE CREATIVE SCIENCE CENTRE
Dr Jonathan Hare, The University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ
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