Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beanium? Is that a real element?

Today students started a new unit on atoms and periodic table. Students were assigned a short reading over the weekend from the Idiot's Guide to Chemistry about atom models and the scientists who studied atoms. Thank you to the students who completed the homework.

Students started today's class with a BrainPop about atom models and took the quiz. Kaitlin and Chris rocked the quiz with a 10 out of 10! Students then took noted and drew atom models for the different scientists. We had some interesting discussions about spending your life studying atoms and how that may or may not seem like a waste. All of the scientists we discussed have received Nobel Prizes for their work in chemistry.

Atoms are really tiny and we need special microscopes to see them. Here is a neat website with pictures of atoms on a very small scale. This is an atom of Xenon on a Nickel surface.

Next we discussed atoms, the particles that make them up, and some basic identification. Students were given a sample of beans (Beanium) that represented an atom and asked to determine which atom it could be by counting the subatomic particles. Finally students made up their own sample of Beanium that another student will be checking tomorrow.

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