General Lab Information


Detecting the Building Blocks of Matter

image of students engaged in lab activity

Scientists use many different types of detectors to “see” subatomic particles. In this session, students will learn about how some of those particle detectors work and see how a diffusion cloud chamber can help them discover subatomic particles all around us. They will then practice their particle detection skills by competing against each other in a game based on the Rutherford scattering experiment.

Vocabulary: atom, subatomic particle, cloud chamber, Rutherford, detector

Session Information:

  • Flexible instruction whether students are in the classroom or at home. 
  • Interactive, instructor-led session.
  • Kit is included.  
  • Teachers will receive a detailed Teacher Notes guide upon booking.  
  • Secure link to ZoomGov videoconferencing platform will be provided. 
  • $300 (BOCES-aidable) 
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Contact us to schedule your field trip. 

NYS Learning Standards

New York State Science Learning Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts Science and Engineering Practices

PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Systems and System Models

Developing and Using Models

Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards

Speaking and Listening Language

Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Intermediate Science Core

Process Skills

Major Understandings

Standard 1, S2.1 Use conventional techniques and those of their own design to make further observations and refine their explanations, guided by a need for more information.

Standard 1, S2.1a demonstrate appropriate safety techniques

Standard 1, S2.1b conduct an experiment designed by others

Standard 1, S2.1d use appropriate tools and conventional techniques to solve problems about the natural world, including: measuring, observing, describing, classifying, sequencing

Standard 1, S2.3a use appropriate safety procedures

Standard 1, S2.3b conduct a scientific investigation

Standard 1, S2.3c collect quantitative and qualitative data

Standard 6, 2.2 Use models to study processes that cannot be studied directly (e.g., when the real process is too slow, too fast, or too dangerous for direct observation).

3.3a All matter is made up of atoms. Atoms are far too small to see with a light microscope.

3.3c Atoms may join together in well-defined molecules or may be arranged in regular geometric patterns.

3.3e The atoms of any one element are different from the atoms of other elements.

Teacher Information

These programs are registered with Eastern Suffolk BOCES Exploratory Enrichment.