Tech Support: Atom Building Game



Helpful Tips

  • Many teachers have suggested that the best way to store and keep track of the marbles is to put all of the same-colored marbles (from all game boards) in one large plastic bin or zip lock bag, and then provide only the number that students will need for a particular activity.
  • A teacher from Chattanooga, TN offers this suggestion: Place a triangle of thin foam or waffle-weave carpet backing in each corner pocket of a game board. This lowers the noise level!
  • Try this! Have students each build an atom of their choice, and then tell them to trade boards and guess what other teams have built.


Q: Why does the periodic table list mass numbers of stable isotopes instead of the average atomic mass?

A: The periodic table that comes with the atom building game is instructional in nature. Students are using this table to learn how atomic structure and the periodic table are related. This table is not used to perform stoichiometry calculations.

Q: This is the Bohr model of the atom, but I've always told my students that Bohr's model was wrong - the correct model is the wave model - what gives?

A: Try telling a chemist that Bohr's model is "wrong" and you will receive immediate opposition! The Bohr model is useful when learning how atomic structure is related to the periodic table, and is necessary when you are trying to predict how matter chemically reacts. The Wave Model is a more complete model, as it includes modern physics explanations for higher level atomic concepts. Learners cannot usually "bite off" an entire concept all at once. In the case of atomic theory, small bites are much more appropriate.

Q: What is the largest atom I can build with this atomic model?

A: You can build up to Xenon - 131.