Atomic Structure / Theory

Three-dimensional figure to improve the didactics of the Periodic Table

A kaleidocycle is presented in which the entire periodic table has been collected. In this three-dimensional figure are the elements organized in four blocks according to their final electronic structure. It is intended that students with this playful figure actively participate in classes by rotating their kaleidocycle looking for the groups or elements that are being studied. The entire periodic table fits in one palm of their hands. It is also a didactic device because students only focus their attention on one block or group of elements from the entire Periodic Table. It can be achieved a more entertaining, motivating and exciting learning about the subject of the Periodic Table.

Analogy Experiment—Projectile Pennies with Rutherford

Atomic theory is a common topic throughout any introductory chemistry course. It is likely that Rutherford’s gold foil experiment gets at least some attention in your course. This simple activity gives students an opportunity to replicate Rutherford’s experiment through an analogy experiment that may allow for easier conceptualization of the experiment itself and provide additional support for model development.

Stamp of the Week #2

Germany issued a pair of stamps that honor two fundamentally huge accomplishments in science in 1994. The Quantum Theory and Ohm’s Law. They were really well designed stamps and very accurate in their science.

M&Ms as Isotopes

Use Mega M&Ms, M&Ms minis, and regular M&M’s in this activity to examine the concept of isotopes and average atomic mass. The color of the M&M’s represent that they are the same element and have the same number of protons. The size represents, in a relative sense, the different numbers of neutrons.

How I Fell in Love with PES

Like many AP Chemistry teachers, Melissa Hemling was not fond of teaching Photoelectron Spectroscopy (PES). Surprisingly, she fell in love with teaching PES in AP Chemistry after making an old-school change.