Sodium atom

An interactive lab where students assemble their own sodium atom given the atomic mass and number of protons.

This lesson is a part of MEL VR Science Simulations. Learn more →

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Teacher's notes


sodi­um, atom, nu­cle­us, pro­ton, neu­tron, iso­tope, elec­tron, elec­tron or­bital, elec­tron con­fig­u­ra­tion di­a­gram, s-or­bital, p-or­bital

Stu­dents will

  • Con­struct a Sodi­um-23 atom know­ing the num­ber of pro­tons and the mass num­ber of the atom
  • Re­view the mass num­ber and cal­cu­late how many neu­trons the nu­cle­us has
  • Re­view elec­troneu­tral­i­ty and cal­cu­late how many elec­trons a sodi­um atom has
  • Re­view elec­tron or­bital names, shapes, and or­der of ap­pear­ance
  • Re­view elec­tron con­fig­u­ra­tion di­a­grams The lab serves pri­mar­i­ly as a skill builder for elec­tron con­fig­u­ra­tion. It can be used in a va­ri­ety of top­ics through­out the cur­ricu­lum: pe­ri­od­ic­i­ty and prop­er­ties, ion for­ma­tion.

Top­ics to dis­cuss

  • Atom­ic struc­ture of sodi­um and its re­ac­tiv­i­ty
  • Ion for­ma­tion