Covalent bonding – building molecules

Building molecules

1. Go to the Phet simulation Build a molecule and see how molecules are attached and what the rules are for formulae.

Build a Molecule

Click to Run


(HInt : you will likely get a message that says it was blocked from running… go to the apple (top left) and click Preferences >Security and privacy > Open Anyway. Unless you have a lot of time, choose Update Java LATER)

Write down a few sentences and maybe a diagram or two to show what you discover.

2. Get a model building kit for your table.

Follow the instructions from the handouts at the front of the room to build molecules with the kits. Record what you make, and the shapes formed.

3. What are the similarities and differences between the models (online and plastic)?

Which is clearer? Why?

1 Comment on Covalent bonding – building molecules

  1. Alina
    January 28, 2015 at 8:17 pm (4 years ago)

    With both versions of the models you build the different molecules. With the plastic ones you are free to make any combination (even if it wouldn’t work in real life), whereas with the online version you are assigned different molecules to put together. Online, you can also choose to view a 3D version of the models. Obviously with the plastic ones they are already in 3D. In my opinion, the plastic models are clearer, as they also make it easier to see whether the molecules are polar or non-polar.


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