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Final Project

Lesson 1 Introduction to Atomic structure Molecular workbench
Day 1: Electrons around the nucleus - old and new models, elements, ions, isotopes and radioactivity
Day 2: Orbitals, building up electron orbitals, periodic table
Day 3: Students blog their feedback
I am currently participating in a study on the effectiveness of using models to teach science. This online site (open to use by any teacher) teaches scientific concepts through the use of tutorials and modules that allow students to manipulate molecular models. I utilize this software to introduce, reinforce, or review content that I teach in my chemistry classes. For this topic I use it to introduce atomic structure. Students are able to manipulate the number of subatomic particles in an atom and see the affect it has on the atom. The overview given is taken from the model on the molecular workbench site.
There are opportunities for any teachers to participate in this program. Contact information is available on request
Task: Students must complete the model on Atomic Structure on molecular workbench.
(Atomic Structure Overview) In this activity, students explore the structure and properties of atoms. They construct models of atoms with properties of particular mass and charge; create models of atoms with different stabilities by adding or subtracting neutrons, protons, and electrons; and determine that the same element may exist with different numbers of neutrons (called isotopes).
Expectations Students will be able to:
Gain experience using online tutorials
Gain experience manipulating computer models
Contribute to the improvement of molecular workbench via feedback
Content expectations
• Explore the probabilistic electron orbital model to help explain where electrons are most likely to be found.
• Explain that all atoms have similar structure, differing only in the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
• Build models of atoms and ions and identify patterns in numbers of protons and neutrons in stable nuclei and ions.
• Describe simple patterns in the periodic table.

Possible Student Pre/Misconceptions
• Students hold onto notions regarding earlier models of the atom. For example, electrons circle the nucleus in a set orbit, like planets around the sun.
• Orbitals tell you exactly where any electron is located at a given point in time.
• Physicists currently have a complete and “right” model of the atom.
• Electrons, protons and neutrons are all the same size and have the same mass.
• Atoms are small solid spheres.
Adaptations: Often this modules work best if we do them as a class. Using a VPU, I am able to stop the model when needed to clear up misconceptions.
1. Molecular workbench requires students to answer question throughout the activity. I can access their answers and use them as formative assessments of their understanding.
2. I use summary questions provided for teachers as a quiz at the end of day 2.
3. Since I am involved in a study, I require students to give feedback on how they feel molecular workbench helped them. Given as a quiz grade students could be required to blog their feedback and bounce ideas off me and other students on ways the modules could be modified.

Lesson 2 History of the atom project web page
(2-3 days research in the library, 2-3 days technical work, 2-3 days discussion of web pages)
This is project is designed to give students an understanding of the scientist who created the model of the atom. In addition students will gain experience in technology, informational literacy, creating a webpage and blogging.
The Process: A team of 4 students will spend a day investigating on-line resources. Students will perform background research concerning each scientist assigned. Students must find diagrams and descriptions of each scientists work. The diagrams and pictures should be incorporated onto the Webpage. Students will decide on the role each will play, (see task below). Students’ grades will be determined by the sum total of the work they do as a team. Extensions and Adaptations: Depending on the level in the class. Time could be spent on web design. Often the level varies with in the class. In this case groups could be chosen to facilitate peer teaching. Teachable moments about validity of sources will happen frequently throughout this assignment. The SKHS librarian often teaches classes on this topic.

Another extension is to require students to create a blog for each group to be used by students as they work on the project. The teacher could monitor their progress and give hints and encouragement as they work through the assignment.
After completion of the project, groups could comment on each others web pages using these blogs.
The presentation will be graded in the following manner
total: 45 (counted as a test)
Content (15) History (1-3) … Brief history of the scientist
Other work (1-3)… Other work the scientist has done
Significant discovery (1-6)… Discovery significant to the atom
Interesting (1-3)… Can you make your scientist interesting to all?

Presentation (5) Reading (2.5)… Do you know the material or must you read?
Planning (2.5) …Does the presentation flow?

Team work (5) Working cooperatively, out of class planning.
Web page (20) (see SKHS web design rubric below)







Required Pages
Site contains appropriate titles and structure and all pages are present.
(7 points found under task)

Page is missing one of the required components.

Page is missing two of the required components.

One page is completely missing.

Page Layout
Site demonstrates careful thought about the order in which information is presented.

Page layout appears to be too crowded.

Page has too much white space.

Page layout is confusing.

Graphics and
Alt Text
Site contains appropriate graphics, including alt text.

Images do not suit the appropriate image format, but otherwise meet the requirements.

Graphics are overdone. Low quality graphics are used. Some graphics do not have alt text.

Graphics are not appropriate for page and are simply used to take up space. No alt text included.

Major section headings are clear and easy to u/s. Links are logical and easily followed. Index page links to all pages & pages link back to index, all other links work properly.

Major section headings are clear and easy to understand. Links are logical and easily followed. Index page links to all pages on site. Some links do not work properly.

Major section headings are not clear and easy to understand. Some links do not work properly.

Not all original web pages are accessible to user and links are broken and/or not recognizable.

Overall site is eye-catching and each page includes various elements: div, h1, table, bullets, hr, text, & etc.

Most of the pages are well organized and attractive while including various elements.

Some pages are missing required components.

Page looks like it was created “last minute” and does not show much thought or planning.

Color and Background
Colors & background are appropriate for the feel of the site. All text is easy to read.

Colors & background are adequate choices. Most text is easy to read.

Colors & background are less than adequate choices. Some text is difficult to read/distracting colors.

Colors & background are poor choices. A lot of text is difficult to read/distracting colors.

Text is creatively written with no errors or only a few minor errors.

Text is well written and interesting to read and is presented in short sections. A few errors appear to be present.

Text could be written better. Too much or too little information is given in each section. Several errors are present.

Information is poorly written, inaccurate, copied from another source or incomplete. Many errors are present within the writing.

There is consistency with regard to all design techniques throughout entire website.

There is adequate consistency with regard to all design techniques throughout entire website.

There is less than adequate consistency with regard to all design techniques throughout entire website.

There is little or no consistency with regard to all design techniques throughout entire website.

Exemplary effort and use of class time.

Very good effort and use of class time.

Average effort and use of class time.

Little to no effort and poor use of class time.

Professional End Product
Final result is exceptional with all elements working together & matching feel of website.

Final result is very good with all elements working together & matching feel of website.

Final result has an average appearance & matches feel of website.

Final result is inferior and does not match feel of website.


The assignment that will be given to students is below.
Introduction: You and 3 other members of the class have been given the task of investigating the past of the ubiquitous atom. Starting with the Ancient Greeks, there has been great effort expended to identify this “indivisible particle”. However, the atom has proved to be a slippery fellow full of quarks and charms. It is your mission to unearth the mysterious nature of the atom by revealing to the entire world (well, at least the rest of the class) just who or what this atom is really all about. Below are various historical figures that attempted to track down the atom, and they all have information that might be crucial to uncovering the characteristics of “Atom” (if that’s really its name).
Task: You and your group will be given one set of scientists to track down and find out what they know about the atom. As a group you must create a web page on your scientist. You must all be adept at searching the World Wide Web for accurate information. In addition, each person in your group will have a specific role: A) Spokesperson B) Recorder C) Computer Tech D) Illustrator
You will be assigned to one of the following groups. These names are just starting places. If your search leads you to other people and facts, then feel free to bring them into your presentation if they are relevant. However, DO NOT present information that ventures into another group’s jurisdiction or lawsuits may result.
Topics: Democritus, Aristotle, Leucippus, John Dalton, Sir Joseph John Thomson, Robert Andrews Milliken, Sir Ernest Rutherford, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Marie Curie, Henri Becquerel.

The webpage must include the information listed in the scoring guide. It may be organized into several linked WebPages or into a single webpage with anchors. Your webpage must include links to images and sites for the reader to get additional information on the atom. The bibliography must include complete URL's with links to the original sites.

Lesson 3 Crossword puzzle of elements
(2 days to create puzzle and 1 day to solve others puzzle)
Task: Students will create a crossword puzzle of elements on the periodic table. Using clues that are physical characteristics or other topics we have discussed so far this year. Students will then exchange puzzles and solve each others.

Crossword puzzle must have at least 30 elements. You may not use atomic number or atomic symbol as the clue.

Student Expectations:
In order to complete this assignment, students must be able to

  • Understand the basic properties of elements
  • Research and sort through information and create a clue that is compatible with the classes level of understanding.
  • Navigate the crosswordpuzzlegames website
Extensions and Adaptations: Assignment can be adjusted based on the individual level of the student. Beginning students could be allowed to use atomic number and atomic symbol. More advanced students could have more limitations on the type of clues allowed.

  • Quiz grade for creating a puzzle with at least 30 elements with creative clues
  • 2 homework grade for successful completion of another student’s puzzle

Lesson 4 Final project: the wiki periodic table
1 week
Task: In this final project of this unit all chemistry students at SKHS will create a periodic table. You will be assigned one element. You must research and post to the chemistry wiki the following about your element.

  1. Name and symbol
  2. Make a diagram of one atom of your element showing
Nucleus, orbitals, protons, neutrons, electrons

  1. Physical properties of the element and description of what the element looks like,
density, melting point, state of matter at room temperature, metal, non-metal, metalloid, hardness… etc)

  1. Chemical properties of the element (description of how the element reacts with other elements such as: whether an element is corrosive, combustible, or flammable
  2. Elements group and period number and what that means
  3. All the known isotopes for that element and their abundance
  4. Names some commonly identified molecules with this element in it. Give historical information about your element. Who discovered it? Where and when was it discovered? What are some common uses of it?
Since we typically have over 100 students taking chemistry in a semester we should be able to formulate a complete periodic table on the wiki. We can compare it to other years and judge who’s is the most user friendly and informative.

Student expectations:
Students will be able show an understanding of multiple aspects of the periodic table.
Students will be able to edit and interact on a wiki.

Extensions and adaptations:
Teachers can control the level of difficulty for students by providing templates on the wiki for students to fill in. Also a skeleton of the periodic table could be created and students would need to add links from their elements to sites where information was found. After the initial assignment was completed and graded. Students could then add to the periodic table as the class progressed through the curriculum. The periodic table created by the school would become more and more complete by the end of the year.

Assessment: Found on the following web page, materials may be reproduced for educational purposes. http://www.readwritethink.org/lesson_images/lesson979/WikiRubric.pdf







Covers topic in-depth with details and examples. Subject knowledge is excellent.

Includes essential knowledge about the topic. Subject knowledge appears to be good.

Includes essential information about the topic but there are 1-2 factual errors.

Content is minimal, OR there are several factual errors.


Content is well organized, using headings (those given in the research guide) or bulleted lists to group related material.

Content uses headings or bulleted lists to organize, but the overall organization of topics appears flawed.

Content is logically organized for the most part.

There was no clear or logical organizational structure, just lots of facts.


Makes excellent use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance the presentation.

Makes good use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. to enhance to presentation.

Makes use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. but occasionally these detract from the presentation content.

Makes use of font, color, graphics, effects, etc. but these often distract from the presentation content.

Contribution to the Group

Contributes greatly to the development of the class wiki.

Contributes adequately to the development of the class wiki.

Contributes moderately to the development of the class wiki.

Contributes minimally to the development of the class wiki.


No misspellings or grammatical errors. No HTML errors in wiki (e.g., broken links, missing images).

Three or fewer misspellings and/or mechanical errors. No more than two HTML errors in the student's contribution to the wiki.

Four misspellings and/or grammatical errors. No more than four HTML errors in the student's contribution to the wiki.

More than four errors in spelling or grammar. Five or more HTML errors in the student's contribution to the wiki.

Standards for Unit

Grade Span Expectations (GSE’s) Science High School

PS1 (3-4)–1
Students demonstrate an understanding of characteristic properties of matter by …
1a identifying, comparing, and sorting objects by similar or different physical properties (e.g., size, shape, color, texture, smell, weight, temperature, flexibility).
1b citing evidence (e.g., prior knowledge, data) to support conclusions about why objects are grouped/not grouped together

PS1 (9-11) – 4
Students demonstrate an understanding of the structure of matter by …
4a comparing the three subatomic particles of atoms (protons, electrons, neutrons) and their location within an atom, their relative mass, and their charge.

PS1 (7-8) –2
Students demonstrate an understanding of characteristic properties of matter by …
2b classifying and comparing substances using characteristic properties (e.g., solid, liquid, gas; metal, non-metal).

PS1 (9-11)
Scientific thought about atoms has changed over time. Using information (narratives or models of atoms) provided, cite evidence that has changed our understanding of the atom and the development of atomic theory.

PS1 (9-11)–2
Students demonstrate an understanding of characteristic properties of matter by …
2a using given data (diagrams, charts, narratives, etc.) and advances in technology to explain how the understanding of atomic structure has changed over time.

PS1 (9-11)
Explain how properties of elements and the location of elements on the periodic table are related.
PS1 (9-11)-3
Students demonstrate an understanding of characteristic properties of matter by …
3a identifying and explaining the basis for the arrangement of the elements within the periodic table (e.g. trends, valence electrons, reactivity, electronegativity, ionization).
3b predicting the relative physical and chemical properties of an element based on its location within the Periodic Table.
PS1 (9-11) – 5
Students demonstrate an understanding of the structure of matter by …
5a using models or diagrams to show the difference between atoms and molecules.
5b classifying common elements and compounds using symbols

Technology-Literacy Standards

Identify capabilities and limitations of technology resources and asses the potential of
these systems and services to address personal lifelong learning and workplace needs.
Make informed choices among technology systems.
Using technology tools and resources for managing and communicating personal/ professional information.
Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publication, communication and productivity.
Select and apply technology tools for research, information analysis, problems solving and decision making content learning.
Writing Standards

W 6.2 Selecting appropriate and relevant information
W 6.6 Listing and citing sources

Deliverable #2 Jackie Fagan

integrating an edublog into a lesson plan
Introduction: One of the most commonly asked questions in chemistry is
“Why do we have to know this?”
In this lesson, students will be asked to post a blog applying a subject we have studied in class to a real life situation or career.

Goals: What do you want students to be able to do?
I want students to gain confidence searching the web and sharing what they have learned with the class. I also want students to learn how to make constructive comments to others and respond in turn to comments made about their work. This assignment will give students a real opportunity to see the value of chemistry in every ones lives. It will also allow students to explore various careers in science.

Pre-Activities: This assignment will be given in the 3rd quarter. In the 1st and 2nd quarter students have done 2 projects; one on the history of the atom, and one on the electromagnetic spectrum. Both projects required extensive research. In addition to accumulating knowledge about their topics, students learned how to access information and to determine how reliable the information is. Each project culminates with an oral presentation giving students more confidence speaking in public. The question and answer sessions at the end of each presentation promotes student interactions, setting the stage for blogging interaction.

Writing prompt: for students
After reading the article in class:
(“Why Do I Have to Study Chemistry?” By: G. Kenneth Barker Jr.)
Post a blog on: http://faganchemistryskhs.blogspot.com/ that explores the relationship between a topic we have covered this year in chemistry and real life. Pick a real life situation that is interesting to you and you will be able to make it interesting to others. List at least 2 web sites that gave you information about this situation. In addition you are expected to post comments, give feedback to at least 2 other topics and respond to comments about their own topic. This is a quiz grade.

Extensions and Adaptations:
For different levels I will provide class time and laptops in class. In this way I will be able to provide direction in navigating a variety of search engines provided by the school and assure that all students have internet access. I will also provide a few examples of website that show chemistry connections to our content on my blog.

Scoring guide:
  • 2 paragraphs description of chemistry connection 8
(Here is your chance to be make it interesting other students)
    • Minimum of 2 web sites used. 4
(Make sure the links work)
    • Thoughtful comments on another post 8
Total à 20 points (quiz grade)

Deliverable #3 Jackie Fagan

Proposal for Implementation

Dear Mr. McCarthy,

I have been studying the use of blogs and wikis in the classroom. I am excited about the possibilities I have seen. I would like to propose the addition of a chemistry wiki. A wiki is a collaborative website. This wiki would have editing rights to past and present chemistry students and parents at South Kingstown High School. It can be viewed by perspective students and parent to give them insight into the courses we offer here.

From an educational standpoint, students need to learn how to utilize the internet in a productive and safe way. If we don’t expose them to it in the classroom we are leaving out a huge part of their education. We are sending them out into the world with out the tools they need to access the information and collaborative opportunities available to them on the web. This wiki would be authentic exposure to wikis and more specifically my chemistry classroom at SKHS.

What would the wiki look like?
  • Link wiki to the homepage at SKHS
  • Online Q & A for students and parents
  • Calendar of events
  • Projects, homework, tests, labs
  • Chemistry Lab (Safety, Equipment, Procedures)
  • Dialog between teacher and students
  • Dialog between students with helpful tips for success in chemistry

How this plan will fill a need at our school.

  • Technology literacy
  • Students learn together
  • Create study guides from year to year
  • Give teachers feedback to adjust the way they teach
  • Gives parents feedback from prior parents’ comments and concerns.
  • Help students choice classes for the next year.
  • Compliment the online grading we are implementing next year.
  • Help students who have missed school to stay up to date
  • Shy students would have a way to express their opinions more freely
  • School wide goals that would be addressed by creating a wiki at SKHS
Increased parent involvement in school
Increase technology literacy

Here are some examples of how wikis are working in other high schools.

  • http://westwood.wikispaces.com/ This is an example of how a teacher at Westwood School in Camilla, Georgia utilized a wiki in her computer science class. The amount of information given her is not only information to students and parents but also gives students experience with the benefits of wikis
  • http://dhs.wikispaces.com/ This is an example very similar to the one I would like to do in our chemistry department. As you can see there are many links that give students information about many subjects they study in school. There are many helpful resources to get them through their high school years.
  • http://prhslibrary.pbworks.com/ Here is one that accesses multiple courses in the school. Teachers and the courses they teach are listed. It also list activities going on in the school.

I realize that there may be some concerns about encouraging students to express ideas in a public forum. I believe the benefits far outweigh the risks. Here are some potential concerns and how I feel we can overcome them.
Student safety/Cyber bullying
· Class discussions educating students on posting dos and don’ts
· Teacher monitoring and deleting of inappropriate posts
Parent concerns
· Create letter to parents explaining the benefits and the need to educate students in the ways of wikis
· Getting parents involved and showing them examples of how it is working in other schools
Student access
· Students can access this wiki from anywhere.
· Since the science department just bought a laptop cart access from in school is more and more available in the classroom for students who might not have access at home.
· Teacher training on all of the above issues

Here are just a few of the available on line software that is free and easy to use.

In the closing, I believe that educating students on the incredible benefits of wikis is not only a great idea but is an important part of educating our students. If they learn how to use wikis appropriately it will create limitless opportunities for them.
Initial I hope to pilot this idea in the chemistry department next year. After this trial period we could open it up to the entire science department and eventually the entire school. It would create a dialog between parents and teachers that could ease the transition to the online grading program we are beginning next year at SKHS.
Thanks for considering this idea. Perhaps we could set up a meeting and go over any concerns you might have on wikis.
Jackie Fagan