My students look forward each year to our culminating event in the organic chemistry unit called the molecule building contest. I really hype it up and joke about challenging neighboring schools because we are so good at building molecules. Winning groups get medals that they proudly wear around the school. Some of my students tell me that they are going to display their medals at their graduation parties too!
The students work together in groups of 3 or 4. We make it more fun by going to the gym and adding some running to the competition. I give them a molecule name and the first group to run up and show me their molecule will get a point if the molecule is correct. (I use the molecule sets from Flinn Scientific). If their molecule is incorrect, then another group will get a chance at scoring. I tell them that teamwork will win it for them. Each year it never ceases to amaze me how some of the groups really nail the teamwork. You will look at them working and see 3 or 4 pair of hands working efficiently to build a molecule. It is awesome to see students get so excited about chemistry!