Using Atomsmith Classroom

Getting Started with Atomsmith Classroom Online

This screencast introduces you to how to use Atomsmith Online, from inquiry activities that use its 3D interactive models and tools, to features that help teachers manage its use in the classroom.

Using the Molecule Library to teach NGSS

Take a tour through Atomsmith's Molecule Libary and see a few examples of how to use its interactive 3D molecular models to teach some of the NGSS Physical Science standards:  from middle-school-level examinations of simple molecules and extended structures (crystals), to high-school-level investigations of the relationships between long-chain molecules and their material properties, and of the interactions between pharmaceutical molecules and receptor sites in large biological molecules.

NGSS: MS-PS1-1 Matter and its Interactions

NGSS: HS-PS2-6 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Atomsmith Orbital Models Tell the Story of the Covalent Bond

Upending Bohr’s electron-orbit atom and Lewis’s cubical atom bonding model, the application of quantum mechanics to chemical bonding radically changed our view of atoms and molecules. Atomsmith’s visual orbital models help you to tell the story of what covalent bonding really means — without mastering the nitty-gritty of quantum mechanics.

Molecular Spectroscopy Lab

This screencast introduces you to how to use Atomsmith's Molecular Spectroscopy Lab, which is used in the Climate Science Experiments and Activities. The Atmospheric Gases and Infrared Light model allows you to investigate how infrared (IR) light is absorbed by molecules called "greenhouse gases" and how this process warms the atmosphere.

Atomsmith Classroom Experiments

Unit: Introducing Atomsmith

The Scientific Method: Up Close with Atomsmith
(Facts, Hypotheses and Theories)

NGSS: HS-PS2-6 Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Common Core: Grades 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects

Use Atomsmith to dissect and better understand the scientific method and scientific-method terms. Then take this understanding to the next step – scrutinizing scientific results based upon explanations in the text of news articles and other publications.

Educating students to understand the scientific method and to distinguish tested theories, from untested conjecture, or worse, from fabricated opinion, is a life skill. And this life skill has never been more important than in today’s world of free-flowing false and/or biased information.

In applying the scientific method, students are challenged to to be thoughtful and to scrutinize information, distinguishing between the subtleties of facts, laws and conjectures, and the rigorous testing process for hypotheses and theories.

Unit: Atomic Theory and Structure

Using the Electron Configuration Lab

NGSS: HS-PS1-1 Matter and its Interactions, HS-PS4-3 Waves and their Applications

Through use of the Electron Configuration Lab, students gain a basic understanding of the symbolic representations (notation) of elements’ electron configurations and how the symbolic representations relate to atomic structure/electron orbitals (their shapes and energy levels). Students should understand that an element's/atom's electron configuration (usually) represents the lowest energy arrangement of electrons. Students also learn about the three rules used to build correct electron configurations (for elements in the first four rows of the Periodic Table) -- 1) The Aufbau Principle, 2) Hund's Rule, and 3) The Pauli Exclusion Principle. The Electron Configuration Lab has a self-check mechanism that helps to ensure that students learn to properly apply the three rules when building electron configurations.

Unit: Periodic Table

Unit: Chemical Bonding

Unit: Chemical Reactions

Chemical Equations + Nanoscale Models

NGSS: HS-PS1-7 Matter and its Interactions, MS-PS1-5 Matter and its Interactions

In this Experiment, students learn about the structure (or anatomy) of a chemical equation. They also use Atomsmith’s Reaction Lab to make connections between the symbols in a chemical equation and the particles that those symbols represent.

Redox: Ionization

NGSS: HS-PS1-2 Matter and its Interactions

This experiment explores the characteristics of a redox reaction in its simplest form, the ionization of Fe + S to form FeS. Using Atomsmith’s Lewis Structure - Dashes model type, students can see the atoms giving up their electrons (oxidized) and the atoms gaining electrons (reduction).

Unit: Chemical Equilibrium

Disturbing a Reaction at Equilibrium

NGSS: HS-PS1-6 Matter and its Interactions

When a reaction reaches equilibrium under a given set of conditions (concentration, temperature and pressure), if the conditions are not changed, the reaction will remain at equilibrium forever = forward and reverse reactions continue at the same equal and opposite rates and the value of the reaction quotient, ​Q​, remains (nearly) equal to the equilibrium constant, ​K​c.​

It is possible, however, to disturb the equilibrium by changing conditions. One way to change the conditions is to increase the concentration of reactants or products. In this Experiment, you will bring a reaction to equilibrium, increase the reactant concentration, and then observe how the reaction responds to the disturbance to equilibrium.

Unit: Climate Science

Unit: Gases

Unit: Electronegativity and Polarity

Unit: Intermolecular Forces & States of Matter

Strengths of Intermolecular Forces

NGSS: HS-PS1-3 Matter and its Interactions

In this experiment, students explore the strength of IMFs by gathering data from three optimized models of chloromethane, methane and methanol. Atomsmith’s Energy Chart plots the intermolecular potential energies between the molecules, demonstrating the impact of molecular polarity on IMF strength. Using the data that they gather, students are then asked to explain the relationship between IMFs and boiling points.

Unit: Solutions

Solvation of Sodium Chloride

NGSS: HS-PS1-3 Matter and its Interactions

Using the Live Lab, students melt a crystal of sodium chloride, observing the strong ionic forces that hold the crystal together. They then surround the crystal with a layer of water molecules and observe as the crystal dissolves due to water’s polarity and the strength of ion-dipole forces.


Understanding AXE Patterns and Molecular Geometry

NGSS: Three Dimensional Learning: Crosscutting Concepts : Patterns

Students learn how to decompose electron geometries into bonding and nonbonding electron domains to construct "AXE" patterns that can then be used to assign molecular geometries.

Students examine models of methane, ammonia, and water to identify differences in molecular geometries of these three molecules that all have the same tetrahedral electron geometry.

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