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This is typically because the elements with lower ionization energies have more open spaces (have more opportunity) for bonding. For example, Carbon can form 4 bonds and has a lower ionization energy than Fluorine who can only form 1 bond (we get these numbers by looking at how many valence electrons each element has). It would make sense then that we would put Carbon in the middle, since we can branch out from there more effectively.
The atoms with a lower ionization energy have a greater ability to bond with other atoms since they have more "open spots" to form an octet. Because of this, the atom with more spots to bond goes in the middle and the ones with less go on the outside (for example Hydrogen).
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