About "Guess What?!" - atom lesson

My name is Yamina Acebo, and I am the author of the "Guess What?!" lesson. I am attending the University of Michigan to become an astronomer—a childhood dream. Currently, I am a work-study student at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, working for the K-12 Outreach Program.

This lesson (Guess What?!) was inspired by an experiment performed in my seventh-grade physical science class. The experiment had the same goal—to give students an idea of how scientists guess what atoms look like. Unfortunately, after doing the experiment then, for some reason I did not fully understand its purpose. Now, with the help of teachers and parents, I would like to clearly show other students how to do this experiment in such a way that they can understand its important purpose.

Students should understand that the conventional model of the atom is a picture derived from guesses—it is not everlasting because it will change with time. As microscopes become more powerful, scientists will look at atoms with "new eyes" and the model's appearance will change. Who knows? Maybe a student today will be the scientist who tomorrow will see atoms for what they really are!

I hope that you enjoy the lesson and I encourage you to take a look at the many others provided by the Southeastern Michigan Math-Science Learning Coalition.

Until someday,


Back to Lesson