All matter in the Universe is made of very small particles. They are in constant motion and in constant interaction with each other. Elementary particles form atoms and atoms form molecules. There is a finite number of types of atoms in the universe which are the elements in the periodic table.

Version for ages 12 to 15

There is a finite number of elements and they are all presented in the periodic table. Atoms and molecules form new bonds through chemical reactions. Molecules that are based on carbon are fundamental for life and they are called organic molecules.

Version for ages 9 to 12

All matter in the universe is made of the same elementary particles called quarks and electrons. Quarks make up protons and neutrons. Protons, neutrons and electrons combine in different ways and they make different atoms (elements). Atoms make up molecules. All matter is in constant motion and depending on the intensity of the motion it can be found in three different states: solid, liquid or gas.


Breaking down of the Structure of Matter Big Idea of Science

Intermediate ideas of Science Small Ideas of Science

Structure, properties and function of elements (Periodic table)

There is a finite number of elements in the universe, and they are all made up of the quarks and electrons. The number of quarks and electrons defines the behavior of each element.

Structure and properties of matter

Atoms interact through the electromagnetic force and create molecules. Molecules can include atoms of the same or different elements. Each type of molecule has its own properties which also define how it reacts with other molecules. The use and role of each type of molecules in nature is based on its properties.

Chemical reactions

Chemical reactions are the processes through which atoms and/or molecules interact and are combined. There are different types of chemical reactions but they are mainly categorized depending on whether the system releases or absorbs energy.

Nuclear processes

Nuclear processes can change the nucleus and consequently the structure of an atom. Nuclear process can release enormous amounts of energy.