The HTML5 version of “Atomic Structure” and the status of the Chemthink HTML5 port

Category : High School, Middle School, Uncategorized · (6) Comments · by April 8, 2016

HTML5 ATOMIC STRUCTURE is pleased to announce that the HTML5 version of the Chemthink “Atomic Structure” tutorial and problem set is now online.  Because the new version is designed from the ground up for HTML5, it means that students with iPads, iPod Touches, or phones can now run the tutorial in a browser without needing an actual computer.  In 1:1 classrooms, this means students won’t need to go to the computers to log in.  It should take approximately five minutes less to get students up and running with the tutorial.

Atomic Structure

Click the magnifying glass to go to the Chemthink “Atomic Structure” tutorial


In creating the HTML5 version, I tried to stay as faithful as possible to the original Flash version, only adding or making changes where it made sense.  For teachers, this means any worksheets or activities you created based on the original should still work with the HTML5 version.

When a student clicks to launch the app, they are presented with a choice between the tutorial and the problem set.  In practice, I have found that it is easiest to tell my students to open up and run the tutorial in one browser tab while running the problem set in another.  If a student misses a question, I tell them to find the answer in the tutorial before clicking the “continue” button.

Because there is no student login required, students are able to get started very quickly.  This also means that students will need to show you when they are finished with the problem set.  I have included a large gold star on the completion screen so that you can very quickly glance at a student’s screen to see that they are finished.  For students completing the problem sets at home, I have asked that they take a “selfie” with their completion screen.

Because of the amount of class time I have saved by not requiring a log in, I am strongly considering permanently eliminating the need to log in.  The drawback to not requiring students to log in is that teachers will have no ability to track student progress, other than physically observing their students’ screens.  If you can’t live without the student tracking feature, please speak up!


From start to finish, the “Atomic Structure” HTML5 port took 12 days to complete.  I am hoping that I can maintain this pace for the remaining 9 tutorial/problem sets, plus the “Chemical Reactions” lab simulation.  At this rate I should finish everything in about 20 weeks, roughly around the beginning of September.

(6) comments

Stacy Long
8 years ago · Reply

I, personally, truly liked the ability to quickly see which students had completed the tutorial & problem set, as well as how many attempts it took. Seeing this prior to class was essential for my planning. Would love to see this feature brought back!

Michelle Lee
8 years ago · Reply

Wow! What a journey this has been for you all! I was so disappointed to see ChemThink down at the start of this school year, as it has been a staple of my chemistry classes for 5 or 6 years! And then I was ecstatic when I realized that you guys were working to not only get it back online, but that it would be better…..stronger……faster…. Am I showing my age with a “Bionic Man” reference?

Consider me an extremely strong advocate for the class tracking feature. It was highly motivating for my students, and held them much more accountable. Can I suggest that you set up a donation button or a subscription fee if that would help offset the cost of the changeover and maintaining the website? I would happily pay a subscription to your website as I do to every year.

Thank you so much for your dedication to this site, it has been an enriching and challenging part of my chemistry courses, and i am thrilled to see it come back to life!

Jason Broderick
8 years ago · Reply

Echo, Michelle’s comments above. Already posted to the HTML page my comments but thought I would reiterate. I too would pay a donation to compensate.

Chris Bruce
8 years ago · Reply

It looks like there is overwhelming support for the database/user login functionality (the teachers in my school think so too!), so I will definitely keep this on the to-do list for this summer.

As far as funding goes, I really appreciate everyone’s offer for donations! At this point everything is self-sustaining and I got a really good deal on server space paid through March, 2018, so I don’t need to worry about money for the moment. I suspect that if the site grows substantially from where it is now (i.e. starts to require thousands of dollars to run) I will need to rethink funding, but for this school year I’m pretty sure we will be okay.

8 years ago · Reply

how do you even get to the chem think server for the atomic structure on here?? :o

    Chris Bruce
    8 years ago · Reply


    Sorry for the confusion! Just click on the link in the post to take you to the new tutorial. Once you are there, just click on the picture to launch the tutorial.

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