Structure of Atoms

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Today we had an exciting day at Super Scientist! We explored the structure of atoms and molecules.

We discussed the atom being the smallest building block of all matter around us in the world. We looked at the structure of an atom; in the middle you have a nucleus of neutrons and protons, then in shells around that you have the electrons.

Atoms are happiest and most stable when their shells of electrons are full so sometimes to achieve this they borrow or share electrons with other atoms. We looked at the most common compounds all around us such as water, H2O, which is formed from 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen.

You can see in the diagram how they are “sharing” the electrons to fill their outer shell.

We also discussed how material structures are affected by external forces like extreme pressure and time, in elements like carbon these make the difference between graphite and diamond.

This led us to our growing crystals experiment - for the next few weeks we will keep a close eye on our crystal experiments and see what differences we notice between our salt, sugar and bicarbonate of Soda crystals. We will keep you posted on the results!

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