What Determines and Limits an Atom's Mass?

Provide learners with the tools to further understand nuclear energy and isotopes. Young chemists investigate the components of an atom's nucleus, use symbols to represent various isotope forms, and use the percent abundance of an atom's isotope to calculate its atomic mass. They conclude this final installment of a nine-part series with a discussion on nuclear energy and its use.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have students research a nuclear power plant and discuss their role in providing energy as well as their responsibility in maintaining safe working conditions
  • Divide the class into pairs and have each pair of students create a model of an isotope discussed in this lesson
Classroom Considerations

  • Work chemistry problems in front of the class to ensure all students understand the information

  • Offers the ability to expand on the information presented and relate this to present concerns with energy efficiency and our local environment
  • Two parts can be completed in one class period or divided into multiple days as needed

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