Goals and Objectives:

  • Prepare teachers to gather appropriate  materials, build electroscopes, and lead their students as the prove the existence of at least two types of electrical charge in a loose but structures experimental experience.
  • Introduce teachers to the basics of the e/m Thompson experiment, showing the extraction of a beam of charged matter from a metal.
  • Allow teachers to experience the basics of the Millikan experiment, showing charge is quantized, and thus the existence of electrons.
  • Prepare teachers to make/obtain simple low-cost equipment or use existing equipment such as smartphones to offer demonstrations of a variety of waves behavior, including waves on spring, water wave interference, light wave interference and resonance in strings and in tubes.
  • Allow teachers to observe electron beam interference, which is proof electrons can act as waves.
  • After observing collisions without friction, introduce teachers to the Rutherford experiment as a computer simulation.
  • Consider the planetary model for the atom, and why it fails.
  • Allow teachers to experience spectra from several elements.
  • Prepare teachers to demonstrate the photoexcitation  of photoluminescent materials using red, green and blue LED mini flashlights.
  • Unite all the above experiences in a quantum mechanical model for the structure of the atom.
  • Introduction to how our knowledge of the atom allows us to design and synthesize new materials both for use on Earth and for space exploration, and how it allows us to learn about far away objects without actually going there.
  • Review of results on elemental abundance by the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes.
  • Review spectroscopy results from the Curiosity Mars Rover.