A simple demonstration for high school chemistry students is described which gives a plausible connection between electrons as waves and the shapes of the s and p orbitals. This demonstration may build a transition from electrons as particles to electrons as waves.
Rajasree Swaminathan has developed a series of books that combines story-telling and visual representation of the elements as human characters. Along with hands-on activities, these books have created enthusiasm in her chemistry classes.
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.
This past March, I ran a multi-day poll on Twitter that was designed to be a fun way to determine the “best” element on the periodic table. I’m sharing about the poll here on ChemEdX in case others might want to try something similar in their classrooms.
Have you ever wondered what is the theoretically largest possible value for the atomic number of an element? Using some introductory physics and algebra, you can get your students thinking about this idea.
In this age of scientific inquiry, molecular modeling, digital classrooms, and differentiation, I felt downright guilty about any teacher-centered time. My classroom is flipped after all. I’m not supposed to be lecturing, right?