Updated Atom Builder

Posted September 5, 2014

by Lensyl Urbano

A couple of my students asked for worksheets to practice drawing atoms and electron shells. I updated the Atom Builder app to make sure it works and to make the app embedable.

So now I can ask a student to draw 23Na+ then show the what they should get:


Draw diagrams of the following atoms, showing the number of neutrons, protons, and electrons in shells. See the example above.

  1. 14C: answer.
  2. 32K+: answer.
  3. 18O2-: answer.
  4. 4He2+: answer.
  5. 32P: answer.

I guess the next step is to adapt the app so you can hide the element symbol so student have to figure what element based on the diagram.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2014. Updated Atom Builder, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

One Response to “Updated Atom Builder”

  1. George

    Hi Lensyl,

    I came across your app atom builder, which I think is a great idea.

    I saw some of the example assignments that were on your blog and I wanted to comment that while all of them are possible not all the ions or isotope are common.

    For example Mg+ is not the usual Magnesium ion.
    You could tie the Atom Builder into the periodic table by showing that
    elements in the same columns have the same outermost electron configuration. This is especially true in the Representative elements, those whose column number include an A such as column 1A, 2A,…8A.
    This is in contrast to the transition elements which have a B in their column names such as 1B…8B.

    Any way, the point is that all the elements in Group 1A have a single outermost electron, which gives them all a very similar chemistry.
    So the 1A elements all have ions with a +1 charge.
    2A elements all have ions with a +2 charge (Mg2+) because both the outer most electrons are loss in the formation of the Group 2A ion.
    3A elements all have ions with a +3 charge.
    4A elements can vary but their ions are usually either +4 or -4.
    5A elements can also vary but their ions are usually -3.
    6A elements all have ions with a -2 charge.
    7A elements are the halogen group and all have a -1 charge ions and
    8A elements are the noble gases and usually do not form ions.

    The Transition elements can have different cation charges depending on whether losing electrons empties the outer most shell or leaves it half full which is also a stable state. I don’t know if you want to go there with all your students, but for some they might find it interesting why both Fe2+ and Fe3+ are common ions. The reason has to do with the subshells where the electrons reside. Losing all the s subshell electrons is
    stable as is losing all the d electrons, but so is keeping 1/2 of them for each shell. So Fe+2 loses 1 4s electron and 1 3d electron leaving 1 electron in 4s, which is half capacity and 5 electrons in 3d which is half capacity for d subshell. Further, Fe3+ loses 2 4s electrons and 1 3d electron to leave an empty 4s subshell and 5 electrons in the 3d subshell which is also a stable configuration.

    In your Atom Builder, you have the major shells showing so the subshell effects are not visible.

    Bye for now,


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