Explore molecule shapes by building molecules in 3D! How does molecule shape change with different numbers of bonds and electron pairs? Find out by adding single, double or triple bonds and lone pairs to the central atom.
Coming Soon: A Real Molecules tab, where you can compare the VSEPR model to real molecules!
- Recognize that molecule geometry is due to repulsions between electron groups.
- Recognize the difference between electron and molecular geometry.
- Name molecule and electron geometries for molecules with up to six electron groups surrounding a central atom.
- Describe molecule geometry in terms of shape and bond angles.
This simulation is really fun to play with, and lets students visualize electron replusions (both bonds, and lone pairs) and show bond angles. It's a small enough download that students can use it in class or as homework, and the 3-D visuals let them see molecule geometry without the limitations of particular modeling kits. I'm using it this fall in Gen Chem 1 recitation, in combination with the PhET sim on Polarity. Makes a great lecture demo as well, if you use a computer and projector in class.
Everything is "drag-and-drop" with the mouse, so no instructions are needed (yes, it's that simple). It goes great with existing activities / homework / practice problems on VSEPR, or you can use it for an activity of your own invention.
This (and every) PhET sim is completely free, supported by NSF.
Note: as of 10/19/11 this sim is not working for some Windows XP machines. PhET is working on the problem and hopes to have it resolved soon.