Lifelong Learning Programme

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Véronique Bollinne
Collège Sainte-Véronique, Liège
PHeT (Build an atom, Isotopes and atomic mass, Balancing chemical equations)
Topics related to the resource
• Simulation 1:
o Use the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons to draw a model of the atom, identify the element, and determine the mass and charge.
o Predict how addition or subtraction of a proton, neutron, or electron will change the element, the charge, and the mass.
o Use the element name, mass, and charge to determine the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
o Understand the link between the element and the periodic table.
o Understand the link between a neutral atom and its corresponding ion.
• Simulation 2:
o Understand the link between the isotope and its mass number, atomic number, number of protons, neutrons and electrons.
o Find the average atomic mass of an element given the abundance and mass of its isotopes.
o Predict how the mass and name of an isotope will change given a change in the number of protons, neutrons or electrons.
o Predict how the average atomic mass of an element changes given a change in the abundance of its isotopes.
• Simulation 3:
o Balance a chemical equation.
o Recognize that the number of atoms of each element is conserved in a chemical reaction.
o Describe the difference between coefficients and subscripts in a chemical equation.
o Translate from symbolic to molecular representations of matter.
Examples of learning objectives
For the students who discover chemistry, it might be a very “abstract” topic. Some of them have the feeling that we are only talking about numbers (like in mathematics). Those three simulations really help them to visualize the atoms, molecules and chemical reactions.
Practical information regarding the use
of the site/simulation...
Flash and Java applications are needed to run the simulations.
Information about the class
The three simulations have been tested in the “College Sainte Véronique, Liège – Belgium” with three classes of respectively 23, 24 and 16 students. One class is in year 4 and the two others in year 3.
Suggestion for use
The resource was used in the “IT room” where each student had his own computer. I think that it is the best approach as the simulations include a game that the students really love. They started competing against each other to be the fastest to answer all questions. With this challenge, they had to understand perfectly the topic… without realizing that they were learning…
Insights into student
use / thinking
The only difficulties are at the beginning of the usage of the simulation. When students have understood the link with the theory and how the simulations work, they really enjoy them! They learn a lot, in a very fast way, and with fun!
Teacher’s conclusions
Excellent website and simulations that I use now for three years. I think that it’s an incredible asset for the learning of students as it gives a more “tangible” dimension to chemistry (than a basic theoretical course).

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.