Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

What makes helium so Noble, anyway? Explore the bonding properties of helium versus those of hydrogen using an interactive resource. Science scholars manipulate atoms of each element and observe changes in potential energy as the atoms move closer or farther away from one another. The interactive also allows users to view attraction or repulsion between nuclei.

6 Views 5 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Use the interactive to support an inquiry of why two atoms of hydrogen will form a covalent bond but two atoms of helium will not
  • Ask the class to track changes in potential energy versus distance using the graph, then compare the results for hydrogen and helium
Classroom Considerations
  • Switch the view to the spacefill model to simplify the interactive for pupils struggling with covalent bonding
  • Enable full screen mode to help learners get a better look at the points plotted on the graph—points are very small
  • The interactive has boundaries for atom placement and will notify the user if they are out of range
  • Clearly shows attraction and repulsion using bright yellow arrows
  • None