A fun hands-on activity for studying chemistry is to build a LEGO atomic structure, including the protons, neutrons, and electrons of each atom. Each of your atomic models will help to re-enforce the Periodic Table of Elements as you seek to find out how to build each one.
The LEGO atom at the top of this post is an Oxygen atom. The nucleus contains 8 protons and 8 neutrons. The protons are red, and the neutrons are black. The 8 electrons are blue LEGOs that are placed on top of white LEGO rings. The inner shell has 2 electrons and the outer shell has 6 electrons, making a total of 8 electrons.
The Neon atom has 10 protons, 10 neutrons, and 10 electrons. Go ahead and build the Neon atom, just as you built the Oxygen atom, including the correct amount of black, red, and blue LEGOs.
Continue to build more elements. The more elements you build, the more familiar you will become with the atomic numbers. Handling the LEGOs physically will help your tactile learners re-enforce the learning to make it unforgettable. You will need to have a Periodic Table of Elements open in order to build the atoms correctly. The atomic number is the number of protons and electrons in the atom, and these are always the same number. To find the number of neutrons, subtract the protons from the atomic number. Easy!
If you would like to build atomic models out of styrofoam balls or candy, take a look at this post:
For more posts about chemistry, check out my chemistry series, which includes fun demonstration videos for each hands-on activity:
Also check out the fun coloring book we used during our study to help familiarize ourselves with the Periodic Table of Elements:
I hope you enjoyed building at least one LEGO atomic structure!Tweet