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Product 12724

By: The Flinn Staff

The Atomic Coatings and the Size of an Atom Chemistry Laboratory Kit allows students to “see” the minute size of an atom by measuring the mass of zinc coating on a piece of galvanized iron. This experiment is quick, simple and accurate.

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How can we get students to “see” the extremely small size of an atom? In this experiment, students measure the mass of the zinc coating on a piece of galvanized iron by reacting the metal with hydrochloric acid. Only the zinc, not the underlying iron, reacts with the acid under these conditions. The volume and thickness of the zinc coating are also determined. Given the diameter of a zinc atom, students can then “count” the number of layers of atoms in the invisible coating. It’s a quick and simple experiment, but one that will really help your students build an accurate model of atomic structure. Includes reproducible student handouts, detailed background information, Teacher Notes with sample data and answers to questions and all necessary chemicals and supplies.

Complete for 30 students working in pairs.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Analyzing and interpreting data

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Cause and effect
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Structure and function

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-PS1-5: Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
HS-PS1-1: Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
HS-PS1-3: Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.