Atomic Model Webquest


If you were asked to draw the structure of an atom, what would you draw?  Throughout history scientists have accepted five atomic models. Our perception of the atom has changed from the early Greek model because of clues or evidences that have been gathered through scientific experiments. As more evidence was gathered, old models were discarded or improved upon. Your goal is to trace the atomic theory through history.


You and your partner will search the Internet sources provided, or by using any search engine on the Internet, to learn more about the scientists and discoveries that have led to our current knowledge of the structure of the atom.

Using your research, construct a timeline as a visual representation of the development of modern atomic theory.

Draw the six historical models of the atom - Democritus, Dalton, Thomson's Plum Pudding, Rutherford, Bohr, and the Modern Electron Cloud.


You will have one partner or you will have to work on your own.

 Read the entire WebQuest.

You can also use your textbook. Look at pages 112-118.

Use any of the following Web sites to get information about listed scientists and their discoveries. You may also search other Web sites on your own.

Include the following on your timeline:

  1. Names of all 15 scientists in the table below
  2. The year of the scientists discovery
  3. In 1-2 sentences tell the importance of the discovery that relates to the structure of the atom (some of these people did many types of research)
  4. On the back of the paper draw the six historical models of the atom Democritus, Dalton, Thomson's Plum Pudding, Rutherford, Bohr, and the Modern Electron Cloud model.
Marie & Pierre Curie John Dalton James Chadwick Ernest Rutherford Antoine Lavoisier
J.J. Thomson Democritus Henri Becquerel Robert Millikan Michael Faraday
Joseph Louis Proust Neils Bohr Albert Einstein Max Planck Aristotle

A timeline is in chronological order earliest time to latest time. Because your are going to keep your comments to 1-2 sentences, a graph or report will not be appropriate. Click here for an example.



Atom - The Incredible World:



The Atom - Info and Democritus, Plum Pudding, Rutherford Models:

Plum Pudding and Bohr Model:

History of the atom - Info and Plum Pudding, Rutherford, Bohr models:


This assignment will allow you to observed how the Atomic Theory started as a philosophical idea and through quantatative experimentation, has been developed to include the current Electron Cloud Model. You will see that as scientists discovered more and more information, they discarded parts of older theories to design an atomic model that provided a more accurate representation of the atom.  It is important for scientists to challenge current theories and modify them as more knowledge becomes available. Your research provides you with a historical perspective of our knowledge of the atom's structure.