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These lesson materials were designed for use in a high school chemistry classroom.  Although they would probably be most appropriate for an AP or honors section, modified versions could be used at other levels.  The learning materials introduce students to introductory concepts needed to understand x-ray crystallography, however, they do explicitly address the technique.  A variety of other methods (i.e. facility tours, videos, guest speakers, etc.) would be more appropriate for teaching students about the actual technique, as addressing the procedure, theory, and mathematics is not feasible in high school using other conventional methods.  I envision that these particular instructional materials would be best placed immediately after studying electrons, light, and the electromagnetic spectrum, but before addressing periodicity.  They would also fit well while studying bonding.

X-Ray Diffraction Webquest

  • The University of Cambridge Physics Department has an in-depth, interactive website on x-ray diffraction.  It contains step-by-step background information related to the underlying principles needed to understand x-ray crystallography.  The applets are appealing to high school learners.
  • The following webquest, and related materials, are to be used in conjunction with the website above.

Lesson Materials
  1. X-Ray Diffraction Webquest (DOC / PDF)

Crystal Structure Research Project

  • Students learn about crystal structure by researching Bragg's law and unit cells.
  • Students create PowerPoint presentation and movie to communicate the results of their research.

Lesson Materials:
  1. Crystal Structure Research Project Guidelines (DOC / PDF)


Cambridge University crest
[Data file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from‌wiki/‌File:Cambridge_University_Crest_-_flat.png

Mills, B. (2006). Fluorite unit cell [Data file]. Retrieved from‌wikipedia/‌commons/‌0/‌0c/‌Fluorite-unit-cell-3D.png