Matter and Energy
Structure of atoms, masses, locations of protons, neutrons, and electrons
identify that protons determine the element's identity
This lesson provides practice for identifying the locations of the subatomic particles of an atom within a model. Students then use the model to identify the atom using the number of protons, calculate the mass using protons and neutrons (in the nucleus), and find the name of the atom on the periodic table. This lesson should follow some pre-teaching so that students come into the lab knowing that the atom is made of three subatomic particles; protons, neutrons, and electrons. They should have seen a few examples of what atoms look like using various model examples. The idea is for the students to discover that the protons are the real clue to how atoms are identified and where they are located in an atom’s structure. As you begin revolving students through the stations, inform them what each bean in the model represents in the model of the atom. Once the students have filled out the data table, have them work in small groups
Alternatively, you can provide information including protons identify the atom, neutrons and protons are found in the nucleus, and electrons are found orbiting the nucleus. Treat the lab as a review activity to help students review concepts previously learned.