The Atom

From Philosophical Idea to Scientific Theory

A WebQuest for High School Chemistry

Designed by Susan Schmidt

susan.schmidt@mnps.org

 

Introduction   Task    Process    Resources    Evaluation    Conclusion    Credits    Teacher Page

 

 

Introduction:

    If you were asked to draw the structure of an atom, what would you draw?  Throughout history scientists have accepted five atomic models. Our perception of the atom has changed from the early Greek model because of clues or evidences that have been gathered through scientific experiments. As more evidence was gathered old models were discarded or improved upon. Your goal is to trace the atomic theory through history.

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Task:

 You and your partner will search the Internet sources provided to learn more about the scientists and discoveries that have led to our current knowledge of the structure of the atom.

Using your research, construct a timeline as a visual representation of the development of modern atomic theory.

Draw the five historical models of the atom - Democritus, Thomson's Plum Pudding, Rutherford, Bohr, Modern Electron Cloud

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Process:

You will be assigned 1 partner.

 Read the entire WebQuest.

Get out your notes from pages 64-74 in your Modern Chemistry textbook.

Use any of the following Web sites to get information about listed scientists and their discoveries that were not in your text. You may search other Web sites on your own or use library resources.

Include the following on your timeline:

  1. Names of all 15 scientists in the table below
  2. The year of the scientists discovery
  3. In 1-2 sentences tell the importance of the discovery that relates to the structure of the atom (some of these people did many types of research)
  4. On the back of the paper draw the five historical models of the atom Democritus, Thomson's Plum Pudding, Rutherford, Bohr, Modern Electron Could model (you may make models to bring to class if your prefer)

 

Marie & Pierre Curie John Dalton James Chadwick Ernest Rutherford Antoine Lavoisier
J.J. Thomson Democritus Henri Becquerel Robert Millikan Michael Faraday
Joseph Louis Proust Neils Bohr Albert Einstein Max Planck Aristotle

 

 

A timeline is in chronological order earliest time to latest time. Because your are going to keep your comments to 1-2 sentences, a graph or report will not be appropriate. If you would prefer to do a PowerPoint presentation or chart, please discuss with the teacher and get pre-approval.  example

 

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Resources:

History

Atomic Structure Timeline:  http://www.watertown.k12.wi.us/HS/Staff/Buescher/atomtime.asp (Click cancel if asked for a password)

Atom - The Incredible World:  http://library.thinkquest.org/19662/low/eng/index.html

Atomic Structure Table of Contents:  http://www.dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/webdocs/AtomicStructure/AtomicStructure.html

List of Historical Contributors and Developments Related to Atomic Theory:  http://www.hometown.aol.com/eilatlog/taxons/history.html

Encarta - Atom:  http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761567432_9/Atom.html

The History of Atomic Theory:  http://www.lancs.ac.uk/ug/cooked1/index.htm  (info about Thomson's Plum Pudding under Modern Atomic Theory section)

 History of the Atom: http://www.winneconne.k12.wi.us/middle_school/7th%20Grade/LENZ/Mr.%20Lenz's%20Page.htm (Click cancel if asked for a password. Go to Chemistry link at bottom left, then to History of Atomic Theory at top left on next page.)

Models

The Atom - Info and Democritus, Plum Pudding, Rutherford Models: http://www.lbl.gov/abc/wallchart/chapters/02/1.html

Modern Model of the Atom: http://www.a-plus.net/tom/mercer/edsc651physci/modelatom.htm

Plum Pudding and Bohr Model: http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphy/nucleus/nucleus1

History of the atom - Info and Plum Pudding, Rutherford, Bohr models: http://www.broadeducation.com/htmlDemos/AbsorbChem/HistoryAtom/page.htm

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Evaluation:

Category

5

4

3

2

Dates/Scientists

9x-max 45pt

All scientists listed Dates are correct and in order.

45pt

12 scientists listed  or 3 out of order.

36 pt

9 scientists listed or 6 out of order.

27 pt

 

6 or fewer scientists listed or 9 out of order.

18 pt

 

Contribution to Atomic
Theory

6x-max 30 pt

All contributions listed and apply to Atomic Theory.

30 pt

2-3 errors - contributions not listed or do not apply to Atomic Theory.

24 pt

4-6 errors -  contributions  not listed or do not apply to Atomic Theory.

18 pt

7-9 errors - contributions not listed or do not apply to Atomic Theory.

12 pt

Models of Atoms

4x-max 20 pt

All 5 models drawn correctly and correctly  named.

20 pt

4 models drawn correctly and correctly named.

16 pt

3 models drawn correctly and correctly named.

12 pt

2 models drawn correctly and correctly named.

8 pt

Attractiveness

1x-max 5 pt

Timeline and models are  exceptionally attractive in terms of layout, neatness, and use of color.

5 pt

Timeline and models are attractive in terms of layout, neatness, and use of color.

 

4 pt

Timeline and models are  acceptably attractive in terms of layout, neatness, and use of color.

3 pt

Timeline and models are  messy with no use of color. They are not attractive.

 

2 pt

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Conclusion:

This assignment is based on 100 points. You can earn extra points by making models to display in the classroom or making a large timeline with pictures of the scientists. See the teacher for details.

This assignment will allow you to observed how the Atomic Theory started as a philosophical idea and through quantatative experimentation, has been developed to include the current Electron Cloud Model. You will see that as scientists discovered more and more information they discarded parts of older theories to design an atomic model that provided a more accurate representation of the atom.  It is important for scientists to challenge current theories and modify them as more knowledge becomes available. Your research provides you with a historical perspective of our knowledge of the atom's structure.

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Credits:

State Standard: 1.1

Compare and contrast various models of the atom as they have emerged historically from the Greeks to the modern electron cloud model.

Metro Nashville Public Schools Standards: 

Investigate atomic structure and how this determines the physical and chemical properties of matter.

Compare and contrast various models of the atom as they emerge historically, covering Democritus, Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr, and the current quantum mechanical model.      

Recognizes the use and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality.

Recognizes the cumulative nature of scientific evidence.

Litreracy Standard: 

Locates and uses additional resources in the school and the community (computer liaisons, public libraries, databases, reference books, etc.)     

 

This WebQuest is based on a template from The WebQuest Page  and was last updated September 11, 2005.   

Textbook: Modern Chemistry, Holt, Rinehart and Winston  Copyright 2002

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