Those Hyperactive Electrons! A Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan:  Quantum-Mechanical Model of The Atom

Class: CHM1045C General Chemistry 1, Chapter 7, two class periods

Introduction: Light is given off by atoms subjected to various forms of energy, such as heat or electricity.   The atoms of a given element emit only certain frequencies of light, however.  As a consequence, each element emits a distinctive glow when energized.    Sodium atoms emit bright yellow light, which makes them useful as the light source in street lamps because our eyes are very sensitive to yellow light.  Neon atoms emit a brilliant red-orange light, which makes them useful as the light source in neon signs. Glowing elements are responsible for the colors of fireworks.  Play flame test video:

In studying the lights emitted by different elements we learned a lot about the atom.  Since the colors observed are part of the electromagnetic spectrum:

·         Show spectrum

·         Relate wavelength, frequency, and energy.

·         Max Planck: quantized energy, Planck’s equation.

·         Photoelectric effect

·         Electromagnetic radiation and atomic spectra.

Play video: The uncertain location of the electron

Interactive Engagement Strategies:

·         Practice exercises: calculations involving wavelength and frequency; calculations using Planck’s equation.

·         Game: electron configurations.

Blank periodic table.  Set up game board like “Battleship” and Clue (rows with numbers, letters on groups of columns; move to inner transition elements like moving through Clue board).  Throw “dice” and write coordinates of location on  board.

· Explain how this relates to electron configurations. Show shapes of orbitals.

Infographics:Global view of how these different topics relate.

Discuss the four quantum numbers and Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

Clicker exercises on valid set of quantum numbers.At end of material, refocus attention on the above infographics.

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