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Transcript
BUILD YOUR OWN ATOM
HTTP://KIDSACTIVITIESBLOG.COM/WP-CONTENT/UPLOADS/2011/11/ATOMS-DIY.PNG
BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
WHAT IS AN ATOM?
Everything is made of atoms. They are the tiniest piece of an element that still has all the properties of
that element. So, if someone handed you an atom of Helium and you could see down to the molecular level, you
would be able to tell it was Helium just by seeing what the atom looked like.
If someone broke off a small piece {big enough to taste} of chocolate chip cookie and you couldn’t see the
chocolate chips or that it was round like a cookie, you probably could identify it as a chocolate chip cookie from the
taste.
STRUCTURE OF AN ATOM:
Atoms are a combination of protons, neutronsand electrons. The nucleus of an atom appears like the protons
and neutrons are all smashed together which creates a spherical center. The electrons orbit around the nucleus.
The atomic number of an atom is the number of protons in that atom. The Periodic Table of Elements organizes
it all. It is like atom alphabetization!
MATERIALS YOU CAN USE:

craft pom-poms in three colors in equal amounts

craft wire

hot glue gun or regular glue and patience
HOW TO MAKE AN ATOM MODEL:
1. Each one of the pom-pom colors will represent a different part of the atom: proton, neutron and electron.
2. To be very simple today, we are making a neutrally charged atom, so we will be using equal amounts of
protons, neutrons and electrons. Previous art projects have depleted our pom-pom supply, so the two examples
we show will have very small atomic numbers.
3. The wire represents the electron path. First, fashion electron paths for each of your electrons. These are
orbits around the nucleus, so make them a little wider in the middle and narrow at the ends.
4. Hot glue the electron pom-pom onto the wire {we covered the end joint}.
5. Create a nucleus by gluing the proton and neutron pom-poms together in a ball.
In this example: blue=protons, yellow=neutrons and orange=electrons – this atom model has two protons, two
neutrons and two electrons which makes it Helium
6. Make short stability rods out of the wire to attach the electron paths to the nucleus. To be fancy and
minimize the visibility of these connector pieces, I glued the stability “rod” piece into the nucleus and then
attached it at the electron path under the electron pom-pom at the original joint.
In this example: green=protons, orange=neutrons and yellow=electrons – this atom model has three protons, three
neutrons and three electrons which makes it Lithium
7. Once the electron/electron paths are attached to the nucleus, you will need to do some atomic
orbit arranging. The larger the atomic number, the more arranging!