Atoms and Molecules Lab Activity Introduction
Before you start the building Atoms and Molecules lab activity you will need to introduce the following key vocabulary words.
Atoms are the smallest units of matter. They consist of a central region called the nucleus and an area surrounding the nucleus called the electron cloud.
Atoms contain three different types of subatomic particles:
have a positive charge and are found in the nucleus of the atom. These particles contribute to some of the atom’s mass, the mass of 1 proton is used as a unit of measurement of mass in the super small world of atoms. 1 proton = 1 Atomic Mass Unit or AMU. All atoms of a particular element have the same number of protons. This is called the atom’s atomic number and is used to identify the element. The atomic number is the top number in the element box on the periodic table.
are also found in the nucleus of the atom. These particles have no charge and are electrically neutral. Like protons, neutrons also contribute to the mass of an atom. The mass of 1 neutron equals 1 AMU. The combined number of protons and neutrons mass of an atom is called an atom’s atomic mass. This number is the bottom number in each element box on the periodic table and is usually the larger of the two numbers.
are the third type of subatomic particle. They are found in the electron cloud area surrounding the nucleus and are highly energetic. The amount of energy an electron possesses affects its distances from the nucleus. Electrons have a negative charge and are so small that they are not considered part of the atomic mass number of an element.
Since atoms are electrically neutral, the number of protons and the number of electrons are the same. For example, if the atom has 5 protons (5 positive charges), it will have 5 electrons (5 negative charges) to balance it out.
Download These Lab Worksheets:
- Wash your hands before handling candy.
- Do not eat the candy during the lab. Your teacher will inform you if you are allowed to eat it at the end of the lab.
- Using the information above complete the chart below:
- Label the nucleus and the electron cloud region on the diagram below:
- Identify the location of the protons, neutrons, and electrons on your diagram.
- A copy of the atom template from your teacher.
- A periodic table
- Plate or bowl for candy.
- M&M’s or similar candy
Task 1: Building Lithium
Complete the following on the Atom Template.
- Select a colored candy to represent the protons, neutrons, and electrons.
- Lithium has the atomic number 3, which means that it has 3 protons and 3 electrons. Arrange the protons in the nucleus and the electrons in the electron cloud.
- Lithium’s atomic mass is 6.94, which is rounded up to 7. This means that it has 4 neutrons. These must also be placed in the nucleus.
Task 2: Build the following mystery atoms.
Using the information in the table below, build each atom with their respective number of subatomic particles. Get your teacher to check them as you complete them.
The Atoms and Molecules Activity:
Students record their predictions and results of the lab activity. Once the activity is finished, discuss the lab activity and answer post-lab questions.
We also provided some of the Resources below for you to use in class. iTeachly Members can access all the content for the activity and the following lesson.
Students must come up with a unanimous answer for each question. Discussing the answers usually, results in some excellent dialogue on this topic.
Here is your Free Content for the Atoms and Molecules Part of the Lesson!
Atoms and Molecules - PDFs
- 3-1 Assignment SE - Atoms and Molecules (FREE)
- 3-1 Assignment TE - Atoms and Molecules ( Members Only )
- 3-1 Bell Work SE - Atoms and Molecules (FREE)
- 3-1 Bell Work TE - Atoms and Molecules ( Members Only )
- 3-1 Exit Quiz SE - Atoms and Molecules (FREE)
- 3-1 Exit Quiz TE - Atoms and Molecules ( Members Only )
- 3-1 Guided Notes SE - Atoms and Molecules (FREE)
- 3-1 Guided Notes TE - Atoms and Molecules ( Members Only )
- 3-1 Lesson Plan - Atoms and Molecules ( Members Only )
- 3-1 Online Activities - Atoms and Molecules ( Members Only )
- 3-1 Slide Show Atoms and Molecules (FREE)
Atoms and Molecules Lab Worksheets - Word Docs & PowerPoints
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Want Access to Everything in the Chemical Reactions Unit?
Unit 3 – Chemical Reactions
- 3-1 Atoms and Molecules
- 3-2 Models of the Atom
- 3-3 Elements and the Periodic Table
- 3-4 Compounds
- 3-5 Chemistry of Gases
- 3-6 Chemical and Physical Change
- 3-7 Chemical Equations
- 3-8 Properties of Acids and Bases
- 3-9 Indicators
- 3-10 The pH Scale
- 3-11 Reactions of Acids and Bases
- 3-12 Neutralization