In working with my students’ perceptions of the periodic table, I wrapped a periodic table around a roll of paper towels. My attempt was to get them to realize that the Alkali metals are actually right next to the Noble gasses. I wasn’t sure if it was working, but in our review leading up to the finals one girl mentioned that it was a spiral–so I guess it’s helping some students.
Below is a video showing a periodic table spinning around on a turntable. I recommend downloading the video and using VLC Media Player, Quicktime, or some other viewer that allows you to scroll the video back and forth.
The table I used comes from ptable.com, a great resource for online and printable periodic tables.
Here are a couple other 3D ‘tables’ that email list folks have let me know about:
Over a decade ago I made a Quatro-Pro spreadsheet to make quick calculations from masses on the periodic table. Well, now Excel rules the roost, so I created a similar version using Excel. The fundamental element of the spreadsheet is that the cell with each mass is given a name that is the symbol for the element. So, for example, instead of having to remember which cell the mass of oxygen is in (C9, in this case), you only need to type in O.
The only element that doesn’t work with its symbol is carbon.Excel will not allow a cell to be named just “C”, so I had to use “CC” instead.
To calculate the mass of water, just type if =h*2+o (letters can be UPPER or lower case)
For hydrochloric acid, type =h+cl
Copper nitrate: =Cu+N*2+O*6
Carbon dioxide =CC+O*2 (this is an example of the carbon exception from above).
There’s an old saying, “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” People would say this in response to someone saying “Well, I was close.” So, why does close count in horseshoes and hand grenades, and why is this the introduction to a science paper?
Horseshoes: If you’ve never played before (I bet most of you haven’t), the goal is to throw a horseshoe towards a pipe in the ground and have the shoe end up around the pipe. You score if the shoe is around the pipe, but you also score if your horseshoe is closer than one horseshoe away. Thus, close counts in the game of horseshoes.
I think we can all understand how close could count with a hand grenade.
In my physical science class this week, I realized the textbook was introducing the structure of the atom and positive and negative charges, but not answering addressing the clear question that follows the presented information is “what the heck keeps all those protons together in the nucleus?” The book does get around to the nuclear forces, but not until many chapters later when it presents forces.
This gap in reasoning seems consistent in many introductory chemistry/physical science books. In an attempt to bridge this gap, I have written a brief introduction to the four fundamental forces. My target audience is our 9th grade introductory physical science class, but it might also be useful in higher or lower grades.
Since my school has moved to 1:1 iPads, I formatted this document to fit well on a landscape mode (“hamburger”) iPad: 8.5″ wide by 5.5″ tall. If you want to print it, you can use a PDF reader to print two on a page, or take the Word document and edit it to your heart’s content.