Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Reactions in Chemistry
HomeSupport MaterialsActivities
Sub Image2:Macro to Micro Structures
1) Atoms and Molecules2) Macro to Micro Structures
3) Energetics and Dynamics4) Theory and Practice in Chemical Systems5) Chemical Design6) The Chemistry of Life7) Chemistry and the Environment8) Chemistry at the Interface

Unit 2.1 Mini Doc - Predicting Structures
This segment deals with the importance of predicting structures before performing experiments. It presents computer animations of reactions and imaging techniques. Computer models of water molecules in liquid phase are shown.
Video program cues: 00:30 — 3:45

Discovery of C60 inside nanotubes

“I can remember the day when I got the first image. I almost fell in my chair. It was very exciting…we initially saw in cross-section, concentric circles. The larger circle corresponding to the nanotube itself, and the smaller circle, to we did not know what. So we fantasized, and we said that it may be C60 inside, and we actually had a few laughs about it. Two or three weeks later, we had a session on the microscope, and sure enough, we saw: circle, circle, circle.”

Brian Smith
Ph.D. candidate, University of Pennsylvania

“The image is a projection of a three-dimensional object onto a single plane so the depth of field is zero, if you can get it to be zero, and it’s kind of tough to make a mental image of what you are looking at, because you are projecting an image onto a single plane.”

Jack Fischer
Professor of Materials Science, Univ. of Pennsylvania


Freemantle, M. (2001) 3-D Images Of Nanoparticles, Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 79, No. 22, p:9

Robinson, W.R., (2000) A View of the Science Education Research Literature: Scientific Discovery Learning with Computer Simulations Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 77, No.1, pp:17-18

Modeling structures

“What computer modeling can do, is certainly save us a lot of time and trouble and expense in the laboratory by showing us which structures are theoretically impossible and, more important, which are possible. If we can show that a structure should exist, then we can go to the laboratory and make it.”

Dr. Roy Tasker
Associate Professor, Univ. of Western Sydney


  • From ACS, links to readings and resources about modeling and computational chemistry.

Animating reaction dynamics

“The most powerful thing you can do when you’re learning chemistry is to zoom down, in your mind’s eye, to the molecular level and try to imagine what is going on and in a sense, try to understand the personalities of the reactants and products. If you can use more than one model to illustrate something, having each model showing a different aspect of the information conveyed, that’s ideal. Because then students don’t look at a particular model and say: that’s reality.”

Dr. Roy Tasker
Associate Professor, Univ. of Western Sydney

Milne, R.W., (1999) Animating Reactions - A Low-Cost Activity for Particle Conceptualization at the Secondary Level, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 76, No.1, pp:50-51

Donovan, W.J and Nakhleh, M.B. (2001) Students' Use of Web-Based Tutorial Materials and Their Understanding of Chemistry Concepts Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 78, No. 1, pp: 975 - 981.

Proceed to Unit 2.2 arrow

© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy