Summer Research Program for Science Teachers


Florence Dodier

Malverne High School, Long Island


Atomic structure - Historical background


Students will use the Internet to research (Standard A- Teaching strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners) the development of the discovery of the atom (9-12 Content Standard G- History and nature of the Science). They will use their research to set up a PowerPoint presentation and a story line on the subject.


Videotape of the development of the atomic structure. (9-12 Content Standard B- Structure of the atom).


We will view the videotape and stop at pertinent fractions to discuss and understand the ramification of the discovery (Teaching Standard A- Strategies that support the development of student understanding).


The students will be asked to write a short composition about one of the breakthroughs that they either liked (Teaching Standard A- Student accept responsibility for own learning) or had an impression on them. The essay should follow the School's writing standard, with introduction, body and conclusion. This short paper should be about their reaction on one of their chosen discoveries, their grasp of the theme, why they think that it's an important finding and lastly what information they would like to have in the future. (Teaching Standard B- Orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas)

I will then divide them into research groups (Teaching Standard E - Nurture collaboration among students). Throughout the week, each group will have to do a PowerPoint presentation, (Teaching Standard D- Structure time to engage students in extended investigations.) with accompanying research report and visuals (3-d drawing, photographs, mobiles etc.), on either the discovery that captivated them or on one of the topics listed below. (Teaching Standard B- Use multiple methods to present Data) Their work should include a story map; they must identify the setting, characters, time and place of the story, the problem, the goal, and the outcome. (Assessment standard A- Assessments are deliberately designed)


· How were the atomic models developed when no one had seen the atom?

· What flaws exist in Dalton's, Thomson's, Rutherford's and Bohr's model of the atom? Do any flaws exist in the modern quantum model of the atom? Explain.

     (9-12 Content Standard G- Science as a human endeavor)

· Which Dalton's principles were contradicted by the work of J.J.Thomson, by the bombs that were dropped of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan? Do any of Dalton's principle still hold true completely today? If so, which ones hold true? (9-12 Content Standard G- Historical perspectives)

· Describe Rutherford's model of the atom. Why was he so amazed by the results of his experiment? What flaws exist in his model? (9-12 Content Standard B- Structure of the atom)

· How are the frames that run through a movie projector similar to the quantum concept? (9-12 Content Standard E- Understanding about science and technology)


Sources of information










A debriefing session will follow each presentation. Questions from teachers and students to the presenter to ensure that learning did take place. (Teaching Standard E- Structure and Facilitate ongoing formal and informal discussion…) The story map on posters will be display and paste around the classroom



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