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In this video, MIT chemistry professor Cathy Drennan briefly reviews the simplifications and assumptions of the VSEPR model. She walks students through a series of examples to help students translate 2D Lewis structures into 3D molecular geometries using the VSEPR model. Opportunities for pausing the video are provided so that students may construct 3D molecular models alongside the video.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video students will be able to:

  • Use the VSEPR model to predict 3D molecular structures from 2D Lewis structures.
  • Discuss some of the assumptions and limitations of the VSEPR model.


Funding provided by the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD)

Developed by the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) at MIT for SUTD

MIT © 2012

Related Resources

Instructor Guide

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.VSEPR Instructor Guide (PDF)


It is highly recommended that the video is paused when prompted so that students are able to attempt the activities on their own and then check their solutions against the video.

During the video, students:

  • Apply the VSEPR model to predict the three-dimensional shape of molecules.
  • Construct molecules having the following geometries: linear, trigonal planar, bent, tetrahedral, trigonal pyramidal, octahedral, and square pyramidal.
  • Check their solutions against the video.
  • Recognize the primary assumptions and limitations of the VSEPR model.


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  • English-US (SRT)