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Atomic Target Practice—Rutherford Scattering and the Nuclear Atom—Super Value Guided-Inquiry Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Item #: AP6496 

Price: $52.95

In Stock.

Use the Atomic Target Practice—Rutherford Scattering Super Value Guided-Inquiry Kit to engage students in the atomic age. Students shoot marbles at an unknown, unseen object. Trace the path of a marble to predict the size and shape of the target.

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Rutherford’s discovery of the nucleus has been described as a “black box” experiment. In order to solve the structure of the atom, Rutherford had to “unlock” the box. Rutherford shot alpha particles at atoms in a piece of gold foil and observed the scattering angles. In this activity, students confront a similar problem by shooting marbles at an unknown, unseen object. By tracing the apparent path a marble takes after striking the unseen target from a variety of angles, students can estimate the general size and shape of the target. Use this creative simulation to engage your students in one of the great discoveries of the atomic age. Includes eight wooden shapes, marbles and all materials needed to construct eight “black boxes.” Reproducible student handouts, detailed background information and Teacher Notes with sample data and answers to questions complete the kit.

Super Value Kit is complete for 8 student groups. All materials are reusable.


Materials Included in Kit: 
Cardboard squares, 17" x 17", 8
Cork stoppers, size 5, 32
Glue stick
Marbles, glass, 16 mm, 20
Push pins, 32
Wood disc, 3½" diameter, ¾" thick
Wood half-circle, 4" x 2", ¾" thick
Wood hexagon, 3" x 2½", ¾" thick
Wood parallelogram, 3½" x 2½", ¾" thick
Wood rectangle, 4" x 2", ¾" thick
Wood right triangle, 2" x 4", ¾" thick
Wood square, 3" x 3", ¾" thick
Wood triangle, 4" x 3", ¾" thick

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Analyzing and interpreting data
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.C: Nuclear Processes

Crosscutting Concepts

Systems and system models