the WGBH Educational Foundation
the National Science Foundation
This Flash interactive activity explores atomic structure at a pace that middle school students can easily understand. It contains 26 animated pages that depict the atomic nucleus and the three primary subatomic particles: electrons, protons, and neutrons. It was designed to give learners a taste of the particles' properties, such as charge and mass, without introducing advanced terminology.
Metadata instance created
July 23, 2011
by Caroline Hall
August 22, 2016
by Lyle Barbato
Last Update when Cataloged:
December 30, 2009
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.
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.
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.
National Science Foundation. PBS LearningMedia: The Atom. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, December 30, 2009. http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.theatom/the-atom/ (accessed 10 December 2016).
%0 Electronic Source %D December 30, 2009 %T PBS LearningMedia: The Atom %I WGBH Educational Foundation %V 2016 %N 10 December 2016 %8 December 30, 2009 %9 application/flash %U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/lsps07.sci.phys.matter.theatom/the-atom/
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