Exploring the Building Blocks of Matter

E. Gieschen
Video Librarian
March/April 2010

(2009) 14 min. DVD or VHS: $79.95 (teacher's guide included). Visual Learning Company. PPR. ISBN: 978-1-5923-441-3 (dvd), 978-1-59234-442-0 (vhs)

Exploring the Building Blocks of Matter provides a solid overview of basic atomic theory in chapters covering "Early Ideas About Matter" "The Modern Atomic Theory," "How Small Are Atoms?", "Inside the Atom," "Comparing Different Types of Atoms," and "Organizing the Elements," backed with plenty of relevant vocablary (element, nucleus, proton, neutron, electron, etc.).  In an attempt to make concepts more accessible for young viewers, real -world examples are presented, such as illustrating the size of an atom by showing that a penny contains some 20,000 billion, while clear and colorful 3-D animations illustrate atomic activity and subatomic particles, with special attention paid to the arrangement of atoms in various molecules.  Correlated with state and national standards and presenting major topics included in the National Science Education Standards and AAAS Benchmarks for Science Literacy, DVD extras include labeled slides and an iMovie project.  Other titles in the Elementary Physical Science series include: The Changing Phases of Matter, Forming Bonds, Investigating Chemical Reactions, and Solutions at Work.  Recommended. AUDS:E,I. (E. Gieschen)