Teaching with Atomsmith

Chemistry Software for Education

You have taken the first step toward transporting your students to the molecular level and showing them the visually captivating world of atoms and molecules.

Students don't always see what you see.
(Click Here to Enlarge)

Chemistry is the visual science. It's easier to understand if you can visualize what atoms and molecules look like and how they behave. Unfortunately, we can't easily see atoms or molecules – not even with an optical microscope.

Making connections between submicroscopic (particulate level), macroscopic (observable world) and symbolic (letters, numbers, dots, dashes, arrows, etc.) concepts in chemistry is one of the biggest challenges that you and your students face. Because students can't "see" atoms and molecules, many never really make those connections and the result is that they come to view chemistry as hard or even (gasp!) boring.

Students "build" atoms by filling orbitals
in Atomsmith's Electron Configuraton Lab.
(Click Image to Enlarge)

But, from the surreal shapes of atomic orbitals (figure, right) to the explosion of a highly exothermic reaction, you know that chemistry is anything but boring. And if you're like most teachers, in your head you carry around a collection of mental images of protons and electrons and atoms and molecules – moving pictures (e.g., figure above, left) that explain how the submicroscopic world works. And once your students start to see what you see, chemistry begins to make sense. Some students may even see it as fun!

This is what the Atomsmith® Classroom of Molecular Exploration is all about! Atomsmith allows your students to see the shapes and behaviors of atoms and molecules and to interact with them, shedding light on such topics as atomic structure, chemical bonding, gas laws and phases of matter. Using the classroom technology that your school has already invested in (workstations, laptops and interactive whiteboards), Atomsmith enables you to make your teaching more powerful than just PowerPoint lectures and web browsing.

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.

We want all students to feel this way! Please continue to explore the website to learn more about The Atomsmith Classroom's features and curriculum and about inspiring your students with the wonders of chemistry.


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