Wait a minute…today’s descriptor, [chemistry], is a stretch…But my middle school students and I love using an awesome chemistry app during our physical science study.

Not only were the cuties a hit last week, but the periodic table inspired valentine was more than just cutesie science humor. Coincidentally we learned about atoms, molecules, and elements last week which led to the creation of the science valentine. One of my favorite periodic table apps to use during exploration of this content is Nova Elements. This app provides students with a quality interactive periodic table filled with facts and illustrations, video clips from Hunting Elements with David Pogue, and opportunities to build atoms and molecules from objects we use in our everyday life. My kiddos are obsessed with this app so it is available all year round for my early finishers to explore.


Want to build an atom?


Let’s add some protons, neutrons, and electrons to build a Chromium atom.


Want more? Build Thymine and other components that make up DNA.

How do I hold students accountable for using this app? How do I know that students know how to build an atom? After explicit modeling of how to construct an atom, students select a 5-10 atoms or more to build using the app. If you notice in the second photo, there is an option to auto build. Despite the auto build option, students will turn in their work to solve for the number of neutrons in an atom. Then students are graded with a rubric. Once students get the hang of it, they end up building the entire periodic table for fun! The videos that accompany some of the elements are high interest and extremely engaging.

Did I mention that this app is completely free? Even more awesome.

Happy atom building,

Ms. G


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