1. The Aufbau Principle
Aufbau, which comes from the German word aufbauen, means to build up or arrange. This particular principle states that electrons occupy the lowest available energy orbital. The large poster, with the cups attached and arrow on the side, is a great visualization of this principle.
2. The Pauli Exclusion Principle
3. Hund's Rule:
This rule is based on the concept that electrons repel one another. Therefore, orbitals in a sub-level are first occupied by a single electron prior to the addition of an another electron with an opposite spin (see # 2 above). Of course the pom poms in the cup don't show this in the picture here, however, students would still need to place an "electron" in each cup first prior to pairing them together. You could stand from afar and observe students to determine if they understood how this rule is applied.
- White butcher paper and markers.
- Craft pom poms can be ordered online or at a local craft store. These will serve as electrons.
- Clear plastic cups - used to hold the electrons.
- Velcro- used to adhere the cups to the butcher paper.
- Of course you could always substitute and create your own version.
What are your thoughts concerning this hands-on way to teach electron configuration? Feel free to share your answer or ideas in the Comments Section below.