Standards Correlations

Standards' Correlations

Please click here (pdf) for information on Atomsmith models and their applications to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Just a bit about Atomsmith's teaching philosophy in relation to "standards." Chemistry is a challenging topic. Chemistry standards (by state/nationally/internationally) are inconsistent and all over the board. The bottom line: We believe that if students have a deeper understanding of the key basic building blocks that comprise chemistry (including a visual understanding of what is happening at the molecular level) in conjunction with a clear understanding of what is meant by "the scientific method":

  1. They will find chemistry more interesting and develop more confidence in their abilities
  2. They will take an additional chemistry (or other science) class
  3. They will be better prepared to take on the more difficult topics in their future science learning
  4. We will have more scientists in the world and we will have a society bettered prepared to make informed decisions regarding such critical topics as immunizations and treatments for disease, nutritional and pharmaceutical claims, chemical and fossil fuel usage, renewable and biodegradable materials, food production and safety, water quality, the functional advantages of new technologies, etc.

In addition, with Atomsmith's curriculum, we suggest that students demonstrate progress through journaling exercises -- progressive journal entries reflecting iterative learning. Our philosophy is that multiple-choice assessments just don't demonstrate real learning, and rather than measuring student progress in a reductive manner (How many did you get wrong on a worksheet?), there should be rewards for increments of learning demonstrated through enlightened reflection (i.e. journaling -- written explanations with supportive drawings). To develop student confidence and interest, topics as complicated as those in chemistry require hands-on experience and daily iterative demonstrations of progress. Then understanding grows.

Chemistry is like music, math and many other subjects – it's its own language of words and symbols – and we believe that understanding chemistry is to other science subjects as Latin is to English: It's the root. Unfortunately, too few individuals today can speak the language.

To quote Linus Pauling, Nobel Laureate in chemistry, from a 1983 UC Berkeley lecture:

Chemistry is wonderful! I feel sorry for people who don't know anything about chemistry. They are missing an important source of happiness -- that of satisfying one's intellectual curiosity.

The world is wonderful. Chemistry is an important part of it. Let's get more students thinking that!

Atomsmith Classroom for Mac & Windows | Curriculum | Chemical Reactions

Curriculum Unit: Chemical Reactions


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Unit Overview: 

In this Unit, students use The Atomsmith® Classroom's Chemical Reactions Lab, Videos and Equation Balancer to examine chemical reactions at three levels: macroscopic, nanoscale and equation. Students interact with 3D models of reactions to see bonds breaking and forming as reactant substances are transformed into products. Students also make connections between the 3D reaction pathways and the reactions’ energy profiles. Using the Chemical Equation Balancer's "live" spreadsheet, students instantaneously see the effects of changing coefficients, which allows them to quickly test and develop equation-balancing strategies.


By clicking and dragging the bottom slider, students see the atoms and molecules of the reactants rearrange, forming products, while also viewing the reaction’s energy curve. (Click to Enlarge)
Experiments/Lessons:
0. Three Views of Chemical Reactions 4. Precipitation Reactions
1. Chemical Equations 5. Acid-Base Reactions
2. Classifying Chemical Reactions 6. Oxidation-Reduction (Redox) Reactions
3. Reactions in Water 7. Energy in Chemical Reactions

 

Level: High School - General through AP Chemistry / College - Introductory Chemistry

Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, Science and Technology

 

Previous: Phases of Matter - Gases | Next: Standards Correlations

Atomsmith Classroom for Mac & Windows | Curriculum | VSEPR

Curriculum Unit: Molecular Structure - VSEPR


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Unit Overview: In this Unit, students use The Atomsmith® Classroom and the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion model (VSEPR) to predict the 3D arrangement of atoms around a nonmetallic central atom. The VSEPR model is based on the premise that molecular geometry can be predicted by minimizing the repulsion between atoms’ electron pairs (maximizing the distance between them). Understanding the simple rules of VSEPR allows students to understand the formation and construction of larger, much more complicated molecules.


When 3 electron pair orbitals repel each other, the resulting shape is called trigonal planar. (Click to Enlarge)
Experiments/Lessons:
0. 3D Molecular Building Blocks 4-8. Practice with 2-6 Electron Pairs
1. Electron Pair Geometry 9. Build Your Own 3D Molecules
2. Molecular Geometry and the AXE Method 10. Why Two Kinds of Geometries?
3. The Grand Table of Molecular Geometries 11. Just For Fun: Molecular Structure Art

 

Level: High School - General through AP Chemistry / College - Introductory Chemistry

Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, Science and Technology

 

Previous Unit: Molecular Structure - Chemical Bonding | Next Unit: Phases of Matter - Gases

Atomsmith Classroom for Mac & Windows | Curriculum | Gases

 

Curriculum Unit: Phases of Matter - Gases


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Unit Overview: Students use the Atomsmith Gas Lab to complete experiments that lead them to understand how gas molecules behave. This understanding helps students to then “discover” the mathematical relationships between gas pressure, temperature, volume and the number of gas molecules. These relationships form the basis of the gas laws.

“Discover” the mathematical relationship between Pressure (P) and Volume (V) by examining a box of air and observing what happens to the gas pressure as you change the volume of the box. (Click to Enlarge)
Experiments/Lessons:
0. What is a Gas? (Kinetic Theory) 6. Volume vs. Temperature (Charles)
1. Learning to Use the Gas Lab 7. Ideal Gases…Real Gases
2. Molecules and Pressure 8. Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures
4. Pressure vs. Temperature (Gay-Lussac) 9. Brownian Motion
5. Pressure vs. Volume (Boyle) 10. Diffusion (Graham)

 

Level: High School - General through AP Chemistry / College - Introductory Chemistry

Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, Science and Technology, History and Nature of Science


Previous Unit: Molecular Structure - VSEPR | Next: Chemical Reactions

Atomsmith Classroom for Mac & Windows | Curriculum | Chemical Bonding

Molecular Structure - Chemical Bonding


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Unit Overview: In this Unit, students use The Atomsmith® Classroom to study chemical bonds – the forces that hold molecules and solids together. Students “discover” how atoms exchange valence electrons to form ionic and covalent bonds. They then learn to build Lewis Structures -- models that describe how pairs of valence electrons are distributed among a molecule’s atoms, as covalent bonds or as non-bonding lone pairs. Understanding and building Lewis Structures are critical steps to understanding whether a molecule will be stable, how it might react with other molecules, and predicting the molecule’s 3D shape.

Students use the Lewis Structure Lab to learn how pairs of electrons are shared in covalent bonding. They confirm that they have built the molecule’s Lewis Structure correctly when the molecule appears in 3D. (Click to Enlarge)

Experiments/Lessons:

0. From Atoms to Molecules: The Octet Rule 4. Hybrid Orbitals
1. Ionic Bonding 5. Covalent Bonding II: Bonding Orbitals
2. Covalent Bonding I: The Hydrogen Molecule 6. Structural Isomers
3. Lewis Structures 7. Just For Fun: Molecular Poetry

 

Level: High School - General through AP Chemistry / College - Introductory Chemistry

Standards: Science as Inquiry, Physical Science, Science and Technology, History and Nature of Science

 

Previous Unit: Periodic Trends | Next Unit: Molecular Structure - VSEPR

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