the Concord Consortium
the National Science Foundation
In this interactive activity for grades 8-12, learners build computer models of atoms by adding or removing electrons, protons, and neutrons. It presents the orbital model of an atom: a nucleus consisting of protons and neutrons with electrons surrounding it in regions of high probability called orbitals. Guided tasks are provided, such as constructing a lithium atom and a carbon-12 atom in the fewest possible steps. The activity concludes with a model for building a charged hydrogen atom (an ion). Within each task, students take snapshots of their work product and answer probative questions.
Registered users have access to an assortment of added features, including data saving, editing/customization, and supplemental materials.
This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.
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/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.
9-12: 4D/H1. Atoms are made of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is a tiny fraction of the volume of an atom but makes up almost all of its mass. The nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons which have roughly the same mass but differ in that protons are positively charged while neutrons have no electric charge.
9-12: 4D/H2. The number of protons in the nucleus determines what an atom's electron configuration can be and so defines the element. An atom's electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.
4E. Energy Transformations
9-12: 4E/H4. Chemical energy is associated with the configuration of atoms in molecules that make up a substance. Some changes of configuration require a net input of energy whereas others cause a net release.
4G. Forces of Nature
9-12: 4G/H2b. At the atomic level, electric forces between electrons and protons in atoms hold molecules together and thus are involved in all chemical reactions.
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: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.
9-12: 11B/H5. The behavior of a physical model cannot ever be expected to represent the full-scale phenomenon with complete accuracy, not even in the limited set of characteristics being studied. The inappropriateness of a model may be related to differences between the model and what is being modeled.
%0 Electronic Source %D 2006 %T Concord Consortium: Probability Clouds %I The Concord Consortium %V 2014 %N 21 December 2014 %9 application/java %U http://concord.org/stem-resources/probability-clouds
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