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Hands-on, active, visual introductory VSEPR Molecular Geometry Lab to help strengthen students’ spatial understanding of 3-D molecular shapes. Students begin this activity with a short reading that describes electron repulsion and the differences between 2-D Lewis structures and 3-D VSEPR theory shapes and their resulting bond angle differences. They are then to draw Lewis structures of 10 molecules, and practice naming them. They will then visit balloons model stations that illustrate the electron repulsion of lone and bonded electron pairs where they are given the names of the shapes. Next, students are asked to visit new model kit stations to build 3-D models of five molecules and using the patterns of the balloon stations, give the name of the molecular shape. Finally, there are post-lab questions on the handout for them to practice on their own. This file includes the following:
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This is one my favorite activities that really helps my students understand and visualize the principles of minimizing electron repulsion and the resulting 3-D shapes of the VSEPR theory.
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