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Atomic Structures and Isotopes

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

Science

Understand that elements are defined by the number of protons in their nucleus.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

January 22, 2018

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that atoms are composed of neutrons, protons and electrons.
  • Understand that elements are defined by the number of protons in their nucleus.
  • Understand that the atomic number of an element is the same as the number of protons in its nucleus.

Guiding Ideas

Lesson 6

Atoms are composed of electrons, protons and neutrons. The protons and neutrons form the atom's nucleus, this makes up the majority of the atom's mass. An electron is 2000 times smaller than a proton or neutron, however they take up most of the space in an atom.

Electrons form clouds around the nucleus, when elements react it is the electrons from two or more atoms that are interacting. So an element's electron configuration dictates its chemical properties.

An element has the same number of protons and electrons. The atomic number of the element is the same as the number of protons it has. The atomic mass of an atom is the sum of the mass of all its protons, neutrons and electrons.

The number of neutrons in an atom can vary. For example hydrogen has 3 forms, called isotopes. The most common form has 1 proton, no neutrons and 1 electron. Another from (isotope) of hydrogen, called deuterium, has 1 proton, 1 neutron and 1 electron. Tritium is also an isotope of hydrogen and has 1 proton, 2 neutrons and 1 electron.

Isotopes have the same chemical properties as each other, but different physical properties. e.g. they have different masses, some isotopes may be stable, whilst others may be radioactive.

Student Activities

• Use the element constructor to create elements and their isotopes.

• Notice how the atomic number correlates with the number of protons in the atom.

• Use the compound creator to make molecules with different isotopes.

 

 

Performance Expectations

• Successfully use the element constructor to create an element and an isotope.

• Demonstrate knowledge that atomic numbers correlate with the number of protons in the atom.

• Determine the atomic weight of atoms of individual isotopes.