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The Sixth Grade Science team at LMS won a $600 classroom mini-grant from Impact on Education for “Atom Builders” in 2006! Many thanks to our donors Chuck Sisk & Terre Rushton!

We started with a classroom student chain representing connected atoms that pass electrons from atom to atom. The generator is cranked, and everyone shares electrons!


Everyone is instructed on how to use their periodic tables for finding first the atomic number, then the atomic mass so that we can tell how many protons, electrons, and neutrons fit into the atoms we are to construct.

Here’s what the kits look like.


You have to place the same amount of electrons in the outer shells around the nucleus as there are protons. This number is based on each element’s atomic number. Only two electrons can go in the inner shell, while 8 can fit into the outer shell. The neutrons are the green un-charged particles, and their numbers are based on the difference in the atomic mass number and the atomic number.

Let’s put one together! How about this one?


OK, here’s a neutron!


Let’s see,, 10 protons,, Can you guess which element?


Hey! We made Neon!


We made Berilium!


Working on the paper that gets turned in. Three metals, and three non-metals. Can you answer the question why metal is such a good conductor by the amount of valence electrons?