Teacher Review For 3D Molecules Editor

Build molecules quickly and easily to see their rotatable 3-D shape and hybridized bonding orbitals

Jeff B.
Classroom teacher
Cerritos College
Norwalk, CA
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My Subjects Science
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 5
Support 2
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Knowledge gain
Small group
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
The properties of substances, whether they are poisonous, have some medical use, taste sweet, have a blue color or a certain melting point, all these wonderful or terrible properties, are determined by the structure, shape and arrangement of the various elements in the molecule. As a chemistry teacher I want my students to learn how to determine the shape of molecules. Drawing molecules on paper is 2-dimentional. Building the molecules with plastic kits takes a lot of time and the kits are expensive. The Mols Editor App solves much of this problem. This app allows students or teachers to build molecules with the tap of a finger. It is possible to rotate the molecules around in order to get a better picture of their three dimensional structure. Various models can be built like space-filling, wire, ball and stick etc. It is possible to learn the bond length. And with the tap of a finger you can see the atomic orbitals. So not only can you see the tetrahedral shape of methane but you can then see the shape of the hybridized orbitals. This has allowed my students to see the shapes and orbitals as I tell them about it.
My Take
I am thrilled that students can now build molecules as we learn about them. The app quickly and easily lets students build various molecules. Some of (very few) molecules on this app had the wrong shape. But the majority were correct and, the app really gives a good 3-D view of the structures. Also I have not been able to build polyatomic ions. But if the instructor pre-determines what structures are accurate the students can gain a much deeper understanding of shape and structure and bonding than just drawing them on paper. My students have been very grateful for this app. I also wish the app labeled the various orbitals sp, sp2, sp3, etc. I also wish the app showed non bonding or lone pair electrons better. Students can then take a screen shot of their molecules and email it to themselves for future reference. This is a fantastic app for visual and hands-on learners!