How do soaps and detergents clean? Why do metals conduct electricity? How does burning fossil fuel contribute to global warming? The answers to these questions are found by examining the properties and behaviors of atoms and molecules. Insightful explanations and hands-on science activities simplify complicated chemistry principles into pieces of information that are more easily grasped. Sidebars include discussions on animals that can live thirty years without water, the Maillard reaction responsible for the taste and texture of french fries, the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and how tires provide a cushion of air to smooth our rides. This book allows students to appreciate that when it comes to understanding the world around us, tiny molecules can provide big explanations.