Simulation Activity: Molecular Motion Mark as Favorite (0 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Molecular Motion, Intermolecular Forces, AACT Simulations. Last updated July 25, 2023.


In this simulation, students will have the opportunity to explore on the molecular level how particles move in three states of matter. They will compare two different substances.

Grade Level

Middle or high school


By the end of this lesson, students should be able to

  • Understand the difference at the particle level of the three states of matter.
  • Recognize that not all substances behave exactly the same, but similarly.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • States of matter
  • Intermolecular forces


Teacher Preparation: 15 minutes

Lesson: 30 minutes



There are no specific safety concerns involved with this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • To complete this activity, you must have access to Odyssey software. If you’re using version 5.1, this pairs with Lab 57. If you’re using version 5.0, this is lab 75.
  • There is a lesson built into the software, this lesson is not the same. The software assignment collects students’ responses; this lesson is designed for students to have a pencil-and-paper experience.
  • This activity could be done individually, in small groups, or as an entire class, depending on the resources available to the teacher.
  • Students should complete the particle models for the three states of matter. A discussion could follow to check for understanding.
  • The simulation is needed for this part. You can use either water or bromine for this part.
  • You can use the Compare feature to have the water and bromine particles side-by-side for easy comparison.

For the Student


Prompt Solid Liquid Gas
1. Draw a particle model for each state:

2. Describe the motion of the particles as seen in the simulation. Make note of the:

  • Distance between particles
  • Distance moved by particles
  • Collisions between particles
  • Migration from initial position
  • Net motion od particles
3. Compare the motion of the bromine (Br2) molecules to the water (H2O) molecules. Note any similarities and differences in terms of speed and motion of the particles.
Similar/Different Similar/Different Similar/Different