Egg cartons and small objects such as milk jug caps or plastic eggs can be used to illustrate chemical concepts. The egg cartons can be cut into trays to represent atoms or to represent energy levels associated with atomic orbitals. The plastic caps or eggs distributed among the dimples of the trays can be used to represent electrons or pairs of electrons.
Sometimes the obvious is the most difficult to see. Even after teaching for four decades, there is still something to learn from students. What did I recently learn? Check out my post.
Explore how small the stuff that makes up matter is and consider what those tiny particles are doing in this engaging activity.
The use of multiple representations helps to characterize students' understandings and their misconceptions. Stacey Lowery Bretz shared multiple resources and strategies for using them in her ChemEd X Talk. The recording is available here!
This engaging activity uses wrapped and unwrapped candy to simulate alpha and beta decay.
Many chemistry teachers use models and diagrams to help students describe how matter behaves at the particle level. On April 14, 2022, Doug Ragan explained how he uses colored magnets in his classroom to represent things such as subatomic particles, states of matter, balancing chemical equations, types of bonding, molecular geometry and much more. View a recording of his presentation and access materials he uses.
Flat, symmetrical molecules can be modeled by folding a sheet of paper, cutting patterns into the folded structure, and unfolding to produce the flat paper models. The finished models resemble paper snowflakes, but have a variety of rotational symmetries. Template patterns for several molecules are available for download in the Supporting Information.
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.
This activity aims to boost students’ confidence in representing the atomic world. It also aims to educate both students and the general public about the “chemicals” found in everyday objects.
In this lab, students connect the workings of an electrochemical cell in the lab with the symbolic equations used in electrochemistry and manipulate a model representing the particulate level of what is happening during the electrochemical process. Although this lab was previously highlighted on ChemEd X, there are now virtual options offered!