Polar Molecules and Smell

We continued our study of polarity, this time exploring how the polarity of molecules might impact our ability to smell the molecule.  Through the Lesson 45 PowerPoint, students learned that polar molecules are more likely to be detected by the nose as something with a scent although there are still polar molecules (like water) that do not smell.  We also visualized several molecules using a Java-based Molecule Polarity PhET simulation to give students a better sense of the concepts of electron density, bond dipoles, and molecule dipoles.  Emphasis was placed on the connection between bond electronegativity and overall molecule geometry.  During student work time, students cut out the molecules in the molecules handout and used the molecules to complete the Lesson 45 Worksheet.


  • Read Lesson 45 in the textbook.  Login via the Sapling website and enter your username and password.
  • Write notes for Lesson 45 and work through the practice problems at the end of Lesson 45
  • Please ask questions about anything from Lesson 45 you do not yet fully understand.