Fundamental Concepts of Chemistry

At the pre-high school levels, it may be more important to concentrate on a few key concepts than it is to "ramp up" toward the content of the high school chemistry course.

Chemistry Can be Arcane
Perhaps Chemistry Concepts can be presented in a way that allows and encourages students to reason about the molecular world just as they reason about the classroom world. Perhaps not.
Seeing Without Seeing
Exercises and apparatus to help develop this skill are an important part of the lessons.
Atoms -- Experimental Evidence
The historical approach -- based on Dalton's arguments -- requires the Law of Constant Proportions and calculations. Modern data, including Atomic Force Microscopy and Mass Spectrometry, can provide clear evidence -- without calculations -- for the existance of atoms with differing weights.
Making Foam Atoms and more
Illustrated "How to do it" instructions for making foam atoms, an Atomic Force Macroscope, and a Mass Spectrometer are here. Get the materials needed at local stores.
Teaching with Foam Atoms
Suggestions about using the foam atoms to teach concepts. As interest grows, this section should include contributed lesson plans.
Comments from Others
Does this approach work? What do people in the field, both in universities and in the schools, have to say?
If your students really understand the fundamentals of chemistry, it does not mean that they can pass standardized tests.
Getting the word out, including copies of presentations
Updates in which the author reports on his learning and on feedback received from users.