Building Atoms, Ions, and Isotopes HD

Atomic theory, a periodic table, and a place to practice making atom models without having to draw every proton, neutron, electron, and orbital! This resource is colorful, visually pleasing, and easy to use. 

7th - 12th Science 83 Views 35 Downloads
App Overview


  • Drag subatomic particles onto a skeleton of the Bohr model in order to create an atom, an ion, or an isotope. The chemical symbol, atomic number, and atomic mass appear in a white box in the upper right corner of the screen
  • You can also choose to build an atom, ion, or isotope when given the base elements. The skeleton is prepopulated, and the user then has to add or remove subatomic particles to create what is assigned in the white box
  • If you incorrectly form the atom, ion, or isotope, you can choose to try again or view the solution
  • Beginner and advanced levels of difficulty
  • A neat selection is the Atomic Theory History
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Rating Details
  • Adherence to task

    Provides practice with atomic and molecular structure

  • Worth the money

    A useful tool available at a minimal cost

  • Fun factor

    An acceptable challenge and a pertinent review

  • Scaffolding of learning

    No instructions included

  • User safety
  • Control and feedback

    Choose to build atoms, ions, or isotopes, and select difficulty level

  • How techie do I need to be?
Instructional Ideas
  • After teaching atomic structure, give the class some time to play with the Build an Atom feature
  • Return to the application as you move on to the composition of ions, and again when you cover isotopes
  • Have a few pads available for individuals to practice with as a station during a rotating lab
  • If you have a small group and 1:1 tablets, you could use the Build your own atom, ion, or isotope feature as an assessment tool by stating what you would like them to build, and each individual show theirs to you once they construct it
Classroom Considerations

Note that when downloaded onto mobile devices, the application is titled Atoms HD rather than the extended Building Atoms, Ions, and Isotopes HD.

Whereas this is a practical exercise in understanding atomic structure, there is no way for users to save or send their work to you as a teacher. Should you use this activity, you will need to circulate the classroom if you want to monitor progress. Only one user can practice at time. With this in mind, it may be best used at a center.

This tool is mainly useful for skills practice and self-evaluation.

When adding electrons, the program automatically places the correct amount into each subsequent orbital shell, so there is not a chance for users to decide how many electrons should go to each orbital level.

  • Practical reinforcement of atomic structure
  • No provision for tracking or sharing progress