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Tuesday, August 5 • 9:30am - 12:30pm
S36: Atoms First, Atoms Right: Right and Wrong Ways to Approach Atoms, Bonding and Molecules Within the Atoms First Framework

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Recently, the Atoms First approach has gained popularity, resulting in a revamped syllabus for general chemistry. However, current implementations of the approach largely fail to reflect the mature state of knowledge on the topics of atoms, bonding, and molecules from the perspective of modern quantum chemistry. The primary emphasis of this symposium is on updating the fundamental science covered by the Atoms First approach to better reflect a rigorous understanding of the quantum chemical principles that describe atoms, molecules and bonding. The objective is to convey difficult concepts at a level appropriate for general chemistry students without sacrificing rigor, as traditional approaches such as Lewis structures, the octet rule, and VSEPR often do. While the principal emphasis of the symposium is on getting the fundamental science right, presentations that bring to light weaknesses in the existing curriculum or characterize students’ misconceptions are also appropriate.

Presider: David E. Woon, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Related Papers

Introduction (9:30 am to 9:35 am)
P441: Successful approach to Atoms First at the high school level (9:35 am to 9:55 am)
P442: Looking at life from both sides (9:55 am to 10:15 am)
P443: One, two, many: Teaching MO theory of diatomics as a primary model of chemical bonding (10:15 am to 10:35 am)
P444: Energetic order of atomic orbitals: Observed values versus textbook stories (10:35 am to 10:55 am)
Break (10:55 am to 11:10 am)
P445: Atoms first, but correctly: Consistent explanation of the periodic law (11:10 am to 11:30 am)
P446: Nature of atomic lone pairs: A first step to understanding hypervalency (11:30 am to 11:50 am)
P447: Insights into chemical bonding from general valence bond theory (11:50 am to 12:10 pm)
Panel (12:10 pm to 12:30 pm)


Tyler Y. Takeshita

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Thom H. Dunning Jr

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David E. Woon

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tuesday August 5, 2014 9:30am - 12:30pm EDT
MAN 123