In this classroom activity, learners construct a wobbly model of a crystal array to investigate the attractive interaction between neighboring atoms in a solid. By using this less traditional model, students explore chemical bonds as analogous to a stretched or compressed spring. Gently shaking the model shows how stored energy can be communicated to the next layer of atoms. Vigorous shaking causes the model to break apart, representing the breaking of chemical bonds. See Related Materials for a link to a Flash animation that helps learners visualize the atomic structure of metals and how the chemical bonds are impacted by bending and heating. This item is part of a much larger collection of physics/astronomy experiments, sponsored by the UK’s Institute of Physics and funded by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre.