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This interactive animation gives students a taste of atomic/molecular structure by exploring four elements: oxygen, neon, bromine, and iodine. These elements were chosen because they represent four very different structures -- a noble gas (neon), a diatomic gas molecule (oxygen), a diatomic liquid molecule (bromine), and a diatomic solid molecule (iodine). Each element is represented in illustrations and animations that model the molecular motion. The periodic table may be displayed simultaneously to help students accurately answer the question sets. This tutorial can be adapted for use in either high school or middle school.
See Related Materials for a Power Point presentation by the same author that nicely supplements this activity.
This collection is part of An Introduction to Chemistry, a set of resources developed by Mark Bishop which includes two textbooks, 15 animated tutorials, downloadable Power Point presentations for teachers, concept maps, and 3D molecular models.
Element Properties Animation, atoms, gas particles, gases, liquids, matter, molecular motion, molecular structure, molecules, solids, states of matter, structure of elements
Metadata instance created
May 2, 2011
by Caroline Hall
October 3, 2013
by Caroline Hall
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
6-8: 4D/M1a. All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.
6-8: 4D/M1b. The atoms of any element are like other atoms of the same element, but are different from the atoms of other elements.
6-8: 4D/M1cd. Atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
6-8: 4D/M3cd. In solids, the atoms or molecules are closely locked in position and can only vibrate. In liquids, they have higher energy, are more loosely connected, and can slide past one another; some molecules may get enough energy to escape into a gas. In gases, the atoms or molecules have still more energy and are free of one another except during occasional collisions.
6-8: 4D/M6a. There are groups of elements that have similar properties, including highly reactive metals, less-reactive metals, highly reactive nonmetals (such as chlorine, fluorine, and oxygen), and some almost completely nonreactive gases (such as helium and neon).
6-8: 4D/M8. Most substances can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas depending on temperature.
6-8: 4D/M13. The idea of atoms explains chemical reactions: When substances interact to form new substances, the atoms that make up the molecules of the original substances combine in new ways.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.
12. Habits of Mind
12C. Manipulation and Observation
6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
Next Generation Science Standards
Matter and Its Interactions (MS-PS1)
Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)
Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures. (MS-PS1-1)
Matter and Its Interactions (HS-PS1)
Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)
Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms. (HS-PS1-1)
Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)
Structure and Properties of Matter (PS1.A)
Substances are made from different types of atoms, which combine with one another in various ways. Atoms form molecules that range in size from two to thousands of atoms. (6-8)
Each pure substance has characteristic physical and chemical properties (for any bulk quantity under given conditions) that can be used to identify it. (6-8)
Gases and liquids are made of molecules or inert atoms that are moving about relative to each other. (6-8)
In a liquid, the molecules are constantly in contact with others; in a gas, they are widely spaced except when they happen to collide. In a solid, atoms are closely spaced and may vibrate in position but do not change relative locations. (6-8)
Each atom has a charged substructure consisting of a nucleus, which is made of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons. (9-12)
The periodic table orders elements horizontally by the number of protons in the atom's nucleus and places those with similar chemical properties in columns. The repeating patterns of this table reflect patterns of outer electron states. (9-12)
Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)
Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure. (6-8)
Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena. (9-12)
Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems (1-12)
Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation. (6-8)
Science assumes the universe is a vast single system in which basic laws are consistent. (9-12)
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)
Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution. (9-12)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
Modeling in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed worlds. (9-12)
Use a model to provide mechanistic accounts of phenomena. (9-12)
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information (K-12)
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to evaluating the merit and validity of ideas and methods. (6-8)
Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information in written text with that contained in media and visual displays to clarify claims and findings. (6-8)
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Particles and Interactions and the Standard Model Unit Title: Elements and the Periodic Table
Give your students a taste of atomic/molecular structure by exploring four elements: oxygen, neon, bromine.....chosen because they represent four very different structures -- a noble gas (neon), diatomic gas molecule (oxygen), diatomic liquid molecule (bromine), and diatomic solid molecule (iodine). Each element is represented in illustrations and animations that model the molecular motion.
%0 Electronic Source %A Bishop, Mark %D 2009 %T An Introduction to Chemistry: The Structure of the Elements %V 2016 %N 29 July 2016 %9 text/html %U http://preparatorychemistry.com/element_properties_flash.htm
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