Atomic Theory Resource List

Prices exclude include VAT, GST and shipping.

Stage 1

Magnifiers and Microscopes 

3x Magnifying Glasses
Hopefully your Sherlock Holmes Department has a stock of magnifying glasses, and hopefully they are at least 3x magnifying power or stronger.  These are a good start, though we strongly recommend that you also acquire more powerful magnifiers that will transform the view of objects beyond recognition.  See below.

We do not supply magnifying glasses as we could not source any powerful enough to compete with the LED versions at similar prices.

30x LED Magnifiers
These small instruments magnify to an astonishing 30x, illuminating the object of investigation with an inbuilt LED light.  This completely transforms the image in comparison to the original object, and allows students to reimagine how big things can be make of many smaller things.

A coloured photo that looks smooth and continuous at normal scales is revealed to be an assembly of small coloured dots.  This is a great analogy for atoms being the building blocks of everyday objects.

₤3.95/A$7 per item, including battery.

100x LED Microscope
These hand-held microscopes magnify to an astonishing 100x, also having an inbuilt LED light.  This microscope punches above its weight, and is capable of detecting stomata in some plant leaves.  Thus, they can be also linked to other science topics such as photosynthesis and respiration.

Viewing a smart screen is particularly interesting, as it reveals that all colours are really just a collection of red, green and blue pixels.  Our eyes instead see them as a particular continuous colour.  This is how our LED TV screens work too.

₤6.20/A$11 per item, excluding 2 AA batteries.

Downloads (Stage 1)

Element Strip (Lesson 5)

This download is a printable colour A3 pdf with rows of 23 elements written consecutively, so that four rows will comprise all 92 elements in a single strip when joined end-to-end.  Each A3 page will make four entire element strips.

Instructions on how to cut the rows are provided in the CAT5 video.

Click for download

The pdf will open in a browser . Click the
download icon in top right corner.

Each printed A3 will produce four full element strips.

Periodic Table (Lesson 7)
This download is a printable colour A4 Periodic Table showing Atomic Numbers and symbols of all 118 elements.

We recommend that you give two copies to each student- one for school and one for home.  Some schools laminate class sets for distribution during lessons so that students don’t lose them.

Students love the Periodic Table!

Download Periodic Table

The pdf will open in a browser . Click the
download icon in top right corner.

5-element kit

Element Kit (Lesson 6)
An element is a substance made of only one kind of atom.  However, it’s  not possible to see if a substance is an element just by looking at it, because its atoms are too small to see.  Therefore it is interesting for students to hold known elements in their hand and visualise that all its atoms are the same.

Most of the world’s elements are metals, which you can confirm by looking at the Periodic Table.  It is not surprising therefore that four of the five elements in this kit are metals.  They include aluminium, copper, lead and tin.  One, carbon, is a non-metal.

The key feature of these five element lumps is that they contain the same number of atoms- 100 billion trillion!  This means that comparing their weights is equivalent to comparing the weights of individual atoms.  Since Atomic Numbers are an element’s place in the list from lightest to heaviest, this activity provides a confirmation of this definition.

₤6.75/A$12 per electronic balance excluding batteries.

₤6.75/A$12 per kit of 5 elements.


Weighing Methods (Lesson 6)
This experiment uses three ways of comparing the weights of the five element lumps, with increasing degrees of precision.  The first two methods are enough to satisfy this lesson’s requirements if you decide against purchasing digital electronic balances.

Method 1: Heft
By holding a lump in each hand, and raising and lowering them, the relative inertias provide a good gauge of which lump is heavier.  This works reliably if the weights are quite different, and becomes increasingly unreliable as the weights become similar.  Your student should be able to line the elements up from lightest to heaviest with reasonable confidence.  However a couple of the lumps are indeed close in weight, so they may disagree with each other.  This is a useful exercise in itself.

Method 2: Home-made weight balance
A simple ruler astride a pencil at its midpoint will serve as a remarkably sensitive gauge to relative weights of two lumps.  This will probably resolve differences of opinion between students from Method 1.

Method 2:  Electronic balances
This method is the most precise and reliable, and provides much more information.  It not only measures the comparison of weights, but the actual weights in grams.  This means that your data can be recorded and compared to a different experimenter on the other side of the world, using a different balance.  Scientists prefer this obviously.

₤6.75/A$12 per kit of 5 elements.


Stage 2

Molecular Models

Sticky Atoms
We recommend Sticky Atoms for primary pupils as they are more easily used, more theoretically accurate, and more fun.

Sticky Atoms are atomic models that spontaneously assemble using magnetically tipped filaments.  The kit contains models of six different kinds of atoms- carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine and neon.  Your students can build thousands of different molecules.

Our videos are based upon and support students using Sticky Atoms,

₤22.45/A$39.95 per set at Atomic School.  For orders of 10 or more the price is ₤19.65/A$34.95 per set.

Email ian@atomicschool.com for sales.

A special deal is offered of one kit to teachers at ₤11.25/$19.95 for trial purposes if you email with your .edu school address.


These are plastic atomic models with embedded holes and connected together with plastic lugs.  The lugs are forced into the holes and hold the models together with friction.  In contrast, Sticky Atoms bond spontaneously with magnetic attractions, which mimic chemical bonds better.

Although this is not an accurate depiction of chemical bonds, the models themselves are robust.

₤17.43/set  www.brecklandscientific.co.uk/MOL-200-100-p/mol-200-100.htm

You can find cheaper kits which may be better value on eBay and www.aliexpress.com if you search for molecular  models.

Do It Yourself
If your budget is tight, you can make molecular models yourself.  I recommend that you colour the different atoms according to the standardised code which selects white for hydrogen, red for oxygen, black for carbon and blue for nitrogen.  (To be clear, real atoms do not have these colours, since atoms are not themselves coloured, a topic that is beyond our scope here.  However, there are good reasons for sticking with the colour convention for atoms.)

Options include styrofoam balls held together with toothpicks to plasticine held together with toothpicks.  Primary teachers have a reputation for imagination.

Good sources of information on DIY models include the Royal Society of Chemistry as well as Pinterest.

One time-saving tip is that water-based paints will not dissolve styrofoam, whereas enamel paint will.  Choose the former if you decide to go this way.

New Courses

Contact Info

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway New York WC1 1BA

Phone: 1.800.458.556 / 1.800.532.2112

Fax: 458 761-9562

Web: ThemeFusion