Chemistry Time in Chama

Chemistry is one of our very favorite subjects. A basic grasp of Chemistry is necessary to understand water quality measurements, which are a keystone of River Classroom. This week we introduced our students at Chama Elementary to some basic elements of Chemistry.

We began by taking a good look at the periodic table and defining atoms and molecules.

Many students had seen the periodic table before


After discussing the components of atoms (protons, neutrons, and electrons), we talked about atomic number and what makes each element different.

This gave students the knowledge to begin modeling atoms with felt protons, neutrons, and electrons.

Counting out protons
Assembling an atom
Discussing their atom
These students successfully modeled Fluorine!

After modeling many atoms in groups, we moved on a slightly different model, which happens to be edible. Each student created their own model of a different element. Apples served as the nucleus, and we pretended that raisins were electrons.

Counting how many “electrons” are needed based on the atomic number


A finished atom
The last photo of the “atoms” before they were consumed.


By the end of class, our students could find their way around the periodic table quite well! We’re excited that everybody enjoys Chemistry, and we look forward to taking it a step further and introducing specific water quality parameters.

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