Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chemistry Part 2 - edible atoms

Ok, I am going to break the posts down by experiment so that they won't be too long.
I've been teaching about the Periodic Table of Elements. In order to bring it home we made edible atoms. this is a very easy project to do:
  • Get a pack of sugar cookies, snickerdoodles or some other plain cookie, not chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin (you can make it even more fun if you have the time to bake the cookies at home)
  • You'll want to get a couple different types of candy (jelly beans, chocolate chips, dinner mints, something small enough to fit on the cookie). The candy pieces will represent the protons and neutrons, so make sure you have at least 2 different kinds of cookies
  • Have your child(ren) pick an element that they would like to make (I would keep the atomic number at 8 or below or your cookie will become over-crowded)
  • The purpose of building the element is to have your child show the number of protons and neutrons in the atom.
  • To determine the number of protons, teach your child that the number of protons is equal to the atomic number of the element (show them the atomic number on the periodic table)
  • To determine the number of neutrons, they will need to take the atomic weight and subtract the number of protons from it. The atomic weight is equal to the protons plus the neutrons
  • After they have made their yummy atom, you can check it against the periodic table and then let them eat it! So delicious!
Next entry: Chemistry Part 3 - growing crystals

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