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Scaling an Atom


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    The Exploratorium

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Scaling an Atom

In this activity, learners make a scale model of an atom to see how big or how small an atom is compared to its nucleus. Learners will realize that most of matter is just empty space! Learners will calculate the diameter and radius of a pinhead and the distance between the radius and the electron cloud as well as other optional measurements listed in the "Etc." portion of the resource.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Model

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Straight pin with small pinhead
  • Chalk dust, talk or other powder
  • Meter stick

Subjects


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Circles
    • Number and Operations
      • Exponents
      • Fractions
    • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure
      • Elementary Particles and Nuclear Physics
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories


  • Model Building

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Muller, Eric

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium, ©2002

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