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PROJECT in Model of the Atom, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles, Electrons. Last updated May 23, 2017.


In this project, students will become familiar with and have a workable understanding of atomic structure. The students will also create and construct a model of an atom.

Grade Level

High and Middle School


By the end of this project, students should be able to

  • Understand the basic parts of an atom.
  • Be aware of the characteristics of subatomic particles.
  • Understand the principles of atomic mass and atomic number.

Chemistry Topics

This project supports students’ understanding of

  • Models of Atom
  • Subatomic Particles
  • Atomic Mass


Teacher Preparation: 10 minutes

Lesson: 1-2 weeks (complete outside of class)


  • Research materials can be varied or specified by teacher, i.e. internet research, book research, or even a magazine research
  • Materials for the construction of both parts of the project are varied and the choice of the student

Teacher Notes

  • Atomic Structure background information
  • I recommend assigning elements to decrease a repeat of common and well-known elements, or you may allow students to randomly choose an element.
  • To differentiate, students should depict his or her knowledge of common isotopes and common ions of the chosen element.
  • In Part 2 of the project where the model of an atom is constructed, teacher may want to review the different types of models of elements that exist, i.e. Bohr, J.J. Thompson, or Dalton’s version.
  • A student checklist/grading rubric and student note sheet have been provided for student guidance.

For the Student

Part 1

  • Pick an element from the Periodic Table. You will research this element and choose one way to present what you learn. This is a chance for you to be creative!
  • Complete the “Element Project Notes” packet as you research your element. This will be turned in as part of the final project. You will need to have at least two sources for your information, and these sources must be listed in your packet.
  • You will have a certain amount of time allotted in class to research your element. After that, work must be done for homework.
  • You will present your element to the class. In your oral presentation, you will need to tell the audience your element name, what project you chose and why, and five other interesting facts about your element. Depending on what project you choose, performing the project for the class or showing your student created video could substitute for your presentation.

Choose a project from the following options:

Pretend that:

  1. You are a news anchor. Prepare a script for a newscast announcing your element and the five interesting facts about it.
  2. You are a children’s book author. Write and illustrate a children’s book about your element.
  3. You are a marketing expert. Prepare a brochure, infomercial, or a billboard advertising your element.
  4. You are a songwriter. Take a popular song and rewrite the lyrics to teach about your element.
  5. You are a scientist at a conference. Put together a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to share information about the element.

Part 2

  • Using the element you choose from part 1, create a model of an atom of that element. This project will help you to understand atomic structure.
  • The following subatomic particles can be shown in the suggested colors and locations. You may pick other colors just make sure that the key reflects the colors:
    • Electrons – orange – electron cloud
    • Protons – green – nucleus
    • Neutrons – pink – nucleus
  • All electrons, protons, and neutrons must be shown. In addition, you must work individually. You will present your model when you give your presentation of part 1.
  • Use the provided grading checklist and project notes pages as you complete your research.