Integrating Technology: Seeing Atoms: STM

9th - 11th

In this atom worksheet, students learn about the scanning tunneling microscope and answer questions about its use, how it works and its ability to see electrons in atoms.

Resource Details


Be a Scanning Probe Microscope

Extensive reading is done in order to learn about scanning probe microscopy and nanoscale. Afterward, individuals use a pencil to probe an unidentified object that is inside of a box so that they cannot see it. Using only what they could gather via the probe, they draw the object. 

A Model of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Ninth graders explain how a scanning tunneling microscope works. In this chemistry activity, 9th graders construct atomic models and simulate how their images appear under the STM. They discuss the limitations of their atomic model.

Chemistry Review

In this chemistry review learning exercise, students read about atoms and the periodic table and they complete a chart using the periodic table to find the atomic number, atomic mass and group of given elements. Students answer 5 questions about the elements and they make a bar graph of the mass numbers of the 10 most common elements in living organisms.

Lesson #2 ~ Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

You might love this instructional activity, or you might not. Basically, high school scientists read through a script in which someone interviews a physicist, a biologist, and a chemist in regard to their use of nanotechnology. The names of the involved characters are clever, and the material is fascinating. It is quite long, however. The pictures that are discussed will need to be enlarged and displayed as they represent posters on the walls of the interviewees. This can be used in any science course as an enrichment activity.

History of the Atomic Theory

Young scholars work together in groups to research a topic related to the atomic bomb. They create a worksheet summarizing the information they gathered and write a letter to John Dalton discussing the advancements in atomic theory.

Measuring with a Microscope

After considering the importance of scale, microbiologists measure the field of view for the 40X and 100X objectives of a compound light microscope. With this information, they calculate the size of a paramecium and a corn stem cell. They also calculate the field of view for the high power objective so that they can use it to determine size. Because of the math and cognitive ability required, the lesson is geared toward high school biology scholars. A well-written lab sheet is provided.

What Is Inside the Atom?

Four lessons make up this mini unit about atomic structure and spectra. A pretest is provided to give an idea of what is already known about the atom. Through a series of demonstrations and lecture, you present the information to young chemists. They construct a fruit model of the boron atom. They fill in a chart using the periodic table of elements. They compare and contrast two potatoes as an example of how isotopes are related. Asides from the dissection of a fried fish head, this is a terrific set of lessons for introducing the atom and radioactivty.

How Small is Small?

Students view the video "The Invisible World" and discuss different types of microscopes and what can be seen with each type. They work in pairs to view several objects with a microscope.

Carbon Atom Mobile

Young scholars research the element of carbon, its composition, and the importance of carbon to life on earth. Then they design model mobiles of carbon atoms to demonstrate their understanding of the configuration of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Students also research the scientists who made discoveries that are so important to modern chemistry.

Elements And Atoms

Students investigate the concept of elements and atoms. They conduct research using a variety of resources and use the information in order to create a class presentation. The instructional activity includes specific dialogue and steps for the teacher to use.

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