Molecular structure

The title of the Project: Molecular structure

This virtual laboratory is intended for use in chemistry classes on the following topics:

  • 7th grade. Chapter III. “Atoms. Molecules. Substances.”
  • 7th grade. Chapter VII. “The relative atomic mass. The simplest formulas”


  • Learn to identify and locate different elements.
  • Understand the concept of chemical formulas and their representation of molecules.
  • Practice building molecules by dragging and bonding atoms according to their formulas.

Practical part

Getting started

  1. Open “Single” mode: Click on the button labeled “Single” to start building simple molecules.

Building Your Molecules

  1. The workspace: This is the area where you’ll assemble your molecules. You’ll see:
  • Element Buckets: These contain atoms of different elements.
  • Your Molecules box: This shows the molecules you’ll build, with formulas like “CO2”.

Button to restart the simulation
Button for rearranging a collection of molecules
Button to return atoms to baskets
Go to the next task button
  1. Understanding Formulas:
  • Capital letters mean different elements: CO2 has “C” for Carbon and “O” for Oxygen
  • Numbers tell you how many: CO2 has one Carbon (no number shown) and two Oxygen (the “2” next to the O).

  + + = CO2

  1. Build your first molecule – CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
  • Find Carbon (C): The buckets may change, so look around or use the arrows.

  • Drag one Carbon atom to the workspace.

  • Find Oxygen (O): Drag TWO Oxygen atoms to the workspace.

  • For the correct formation of a molecule, atoms must be bonded. Connect the atoms together until the above formula matches CO2. In the “Your molecules” section, the cell will be colored blue when the atoms are connected correctly.

  • Drop it in the box: Drag your completed molecule into the correct box in “Your Molecules”.

  1. View in 3D: Click the 3D button to see a 3D model of your molecule.

  1. Collect all the molecules and complete the task completely. Click “Next collection” button to collect the next collection of molecules.

  1. If you want to experiment with more complex molecules, try the following modes: “Multiple” or “Playground”.


This virtual laboratory work, “Build a Molecule,” provided an engaging and interactive experience to explore the concept of molecules and their formation. By utilizing the PhET simulation, students were able to visualize different elements, interpret chemical formulas, and practice constructing various molecules through a user-friendly interface. This activity fostered a deeper understanding of the fundamental building blocks of matter and their interactions.