Structure of the molecule


  • Understanding the differences between atoms and molecules;
  • Understanding the structure of molecules.

This virtual lab is designed for use in science lessons on the following topic:

  • Grade 6. Chapter I. “What things are made of.”

Virtual experiment

Modeling the structure of molecules allows students to create molecules from atoms, know their molecular formulas and chemical names, and see their structures in 3D.

The figure below shows the functions each button performs.


Step 1. Start the simulation: you will be offered 3 different modes: “Single”, “Multiple” and “Playground”. In this activity you will learn how to create simple molecules. To do this, select the “Single” mode.

Step 2. An area for accumulating molecules is displayed on the screen. You are assembling molecules from atoms. You are given:

  • Element Baskets: these contain atoms of different elements.
  • “Your molecules” section: this shows the formulas of the molecules you need to make, for example “H2O”.

Step 3. Start building a water molecule – “H2O”. H2O indicates that the hydrogen atom is -2 pc (“2” next to H), the oxygen atom is -1 pc. The baskets contain the atoms needed to make the molecule.

Step 4. Place one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms in the workspace. The atoms must join together to properly form the molecule. Join the atoms together until the formula given matches the value “H2O”. Note: in the “Your molecules” section, the cell is colored blue if the atoms are bonded correctly.

Step 5. Place the completed “H2O” water molecule in the correct box in the “Your molecules” section.

Step 6. Click 3D to see a 3D model of the water molecule.

Step 7. Go to the next set to create the next molecule. Use the arrow to do this.

Step 8. Under the “Your molecules” section, the next “O2”-oxygen molecule is presented.

Step 9. The “O2” molecule consists of 2 oxygen atoms. So extract the 2 oxygen atoms into the workspace and combine them. 

Step 10. Place the finished “O2” oxygen molecule in the desired field in the “Your molecules” section.

Step 11. Click 3D to see a 3D model of the water molecule.

Step 12. Complete the task completely by collecting all the molecules by repeating this sequence of steps. Click “Next collection” to gather the next collection of molecules.

Step 13. Make a conclusion: What is the difference between a molecule and an atom? How is a molecule formed? Which of the components of a molecule is a simple molecule and which is a complex molecule?


By creating this virtual activity, students realized that molecules are made up of atoms. Visualized the structure of molecules. Atoms combining with each other in a wide variety of ways fixed a vast array of different substances.