Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules

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SciPacks are self-directed, online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.

The Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules SciPack explores the properties of substances and elements, and looks at the investigative evidence for the atoms and molecules that make up all matter. Additionally, this SciPack looks at the repetition of properties in families of elements, the development of the periodic table of elements, the distinct ratios at which atoms and molecules interact, and the difference between atoms and molecules in various states of matter. This SciPack is focused on the National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks related to the chemical and physical properties of elements and substances, states of matter, and understanding and using the periodic table of elements.

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Reviews (27)
  • on Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:44 PM

I chose this SciPack to do based on how many questions from this section I got correct on my indexer. I believed I had learned everything about this topic from previous college courses. I learned information from this that I was not taught in previous classes. This topic is confusing and hard for most people, but this SciPack did a great job of breaking it down and making the concepts easy to grasp. I really enjoyed this and I believe I will do additional SciPacks to gain knowledge about things I don't know and to gain more knowledge of things I thought I knew everything about.

Rachel Johnson
Rachel Johnson

  • on Wed May 30, 2018 10:42 PM

I feel so much more confident in teaching this after going through this scipack. The content was very interesting.

Shontell Davis  (Bossier City, LA)
Shontell Davis (Bossier City, LA)

  • on Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:51 AM

I enjoyed this SciPack. A lot of great information and comprehension questions throughout.

Jacqueline  (North Charleston, SC)
Jacqueline (North Charleston, SC)

  • on Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:25 PM

I have completed 5 scipacks , and this one has been my absolute favorite. It was straight to the point, and extremely informative. I have learned ample amounts of knowledge on this great subject.

Jana
Jana

  • on Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:30 PM

This Sci Pack was very straightforward and full of really good information about the elements and molecules. The information from this Sci Pack was helpful and provided some insight into the periodic table and its meaning.

Elizabeth Bender
Elizabeth Bender

  • on Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:10 PM

When I was selecting a scipack to participate in, I thought I would choose one that I had a lot of background knowledge in. This scipack taught me a lot of information that I did not know and kept me interested throughout the entire thing.

Erica Cherry
Erica Cherry

  • on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:58 PM

This SciPack is a good refresher for teachers prior to teaching atomic structure, states of matter, etc.

Steve  (St. Johns, FL)
Steve (St. Johns, FL)

  • on Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:56 PM

Interesting and engaging to use. It helped me add to the knowledge I needed to help challenge my students.

Jessica Minton  (Collierville, TN)
Jessica Minton (Collierville, TN)

  • on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:29 PM

The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic. I had a lot of fear of science before learning about the NSTA Learning Center, and Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format. However, the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area. Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend the Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules SciPack to anyone needing to learn more about this topic.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:58 PM

I have taken four other SciPacks before this one, and I think that this is the one that I understood the best. I am not sure if it is that I understood these concepts more than any of the others presented in previous SciPacks or not, but regardless I found this SciPack to be very educational. There were a couple of new concepts that I hadn't really understood before, and after going through this SciPack I feel like a have a better understanding of them. I strongly recommend this SciPack to anyone attempting to further their understanding of these concepts.

Micki Bowman
Micki Bowman

  • on Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:58 PM

I have taken four other SciPacks before this one, and I think that this is the one that I understood the best. I am not sure if it is that I understood these concepts more than any of the others presented in previous SciPacks or not, but regardless I found this SciPack to be very educational. There were a couple of new concepts that I hadn't really understood before, and after going through this SciPack I feel like a have a better understanding of them. I strongly recommend this SciPack to anyone attempting to further their understanding of these concepts.

Micki Bowman
Micki Bowman

  • on Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:16 AM

Absolutely perfect presentation. Clear and to the point. Well written and understandable. Love it!

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:28 AM

I have been seeking better ways to present atomic theory and ways to make the material more concrete in my biology class. The presentation brings in the history of science which students do enjoy and gives new meaning to the Periodic Table. I will definitely use this resource to anchor my lectures and I may even try the experiment with the balloon in the refrigerator.

Aoko Hope
Aoko Hope

  • on Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:22 AM

This was an excellent and extremely informative SciPack. Even though I have a Ph. D. in chemistry, I learned a number of things about the history of atomic theory and how it came to be the accepted model today. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to learn more about evidence that our world is built from atoms.

Eric Carlson  (Royal City, WA)
Eric Carlson (Royal City, WA)

  • on Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:23 PM

The animations in this particular Sci-pack were very useful. Animations for elements, atoms and molecules - good animations - are hard to come by, especially on the elementary level. Even though this material is presented for teachers to learn or be refreshed with content knowledge, I feel this was something I could use with my students - especially the great animations. I also have to add that the pedagogical implications section was of particular interest to me. It explained the common misconceptions very well!

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart

  • on Mon Sep 26, 2011 4:16 PM

This was a good review over the basics of matter, how atoms are organized and the aspects of matter. I enjoyed the review as I prepare for the TEXES test.

Nathan T
Nathan T

  • on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:40 PM

This SciPack was extremely informative and beneficial. However, it would have been an added bonus to see what I answered incorrectly on the final assessment. This aspect of the final assessment is a bit unfulfilling. In order for someone such as myself to properly share my knowledge with my future students, I would have liked to have had some of my uncertainties clarified.

Leslie Copas
Leslie Copas

  • on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:40 PM

This SciPack was extremely informative and beneficial. However, it would have been an added bonus to see what I answered incorrectly on the final assessment. This aspect of the final assessment is a bit unfulfilling. In order for someone such as myself to properly share my knowledge with my future students, I would have liked to have had some of my uncertainties clarified.

Leslie Copas
Leslie Copas

  • on Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:40 PM

This SciPack was extremely informative and beneficial. However, it would have been an added bonus to see what I answered incorrectly on the final assessment. This aspect of the final assessment is a bit unfulfilling. In order for someone such as myself to properly share my knowledge with my future students, I would have liked to have had some of my uncertainties clarified.

Leslie Copas
Leslie Copas

  • on Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:40 PM

This Sci Pack was very useful to simply review the elements in science. I have always been confused by the periodic table organization so the sections focused on that really helped me understand why they were organized that way. I also liked all the interactive aspects of conducting experiments either in person or online through a program.

Gabrielle G
Gabrielle G

  • on Thu May 09, 2013 8:51 PM

This sci pack takes you through the nature of matter starting with characteristics of elements and goes though identifying elements based on its properties. The scipack moves through evidence for atoms and elements which is great because my students always ask me "if you can not see atoms, how do we know they are there"? It covers the history of the periodic table and the prediction of the missing elements. The Sci pack a a wealth of information available about each element which will become useful when I begin next years element research project. This sci pack gives a strong foundation of the nature and properties of matter.

Jason Ward
Jason Ward

  • on Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:05 AM

I think this was a great Sciipack. Direct and to the point. I was able to pass the test with no problems.

Raeann
Raeann

  • on Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:32 PM
  • on Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:32 PM
  • on Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:58 AM

This SciPack investigates the very fabric of the universe with the Science Objects as follows: Characteristics of Elements, Classifying the Elements, and Evidence for Atoms and Molecules. This SciPack describes building blocks of matter, the Atom and Molecules and goes on to explain elements and interactions and the Periodic Table. This SciPack was a grind for me. I felt like I was in high school again and I fell asleep a lot going through this one. It was well organized and seemed to hang together better than I remember. My Chemistry class always seemed like a bunch of random events, called experiments and a lot to memorize. I just had to gut this one out. I need to remember that not all of my students will find a personal passion for math or science, but it is still my responsibility to try to engage them, and encourage them to see the magic. I won’t take it personally when I see them having to gut it out, and I will not use disinterested students as an excuse to let them stop pushing for understanding, or myself to stop trying to hook that helps them see. This got 4 instead of 5 stars not because of the job of the authors, but just because of my own feelings about having to slog through it.

Floyd  (Honolulu, HI)
Floyd (Honolulu, HI)

  • on Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:36 PM

This topic is more elementary than those of some of the other SciPacks. I was able to complete it in three evening sessions. It was informative and a nice brush-up.

Rebecca F  (Elizabeth, WV)
Rebecca F (Elizabeth, WV)

  • on Thu May 19, 2011 12:50 AM

The content in this SciPack is probably most appropriate for teachers of elementary and middle school. The content covered tends to be simplistic for high school. Teachers who have little background in chemistry will find the content interesting, and it will provide a summary of the mysteries of the periodic table for the uninitiated.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)


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