Students are currently working on a project in science class that requires them to figure out what kinds of elements appear in the everyday products that we use around the house. The goal is to help students recognize that everything in the universe is made from elements. We’ve been using a metaphor — The Elements are the Pantry of the Universe — to frame the conversation.
Here are a few additional element-based resources that students might find interesting:
Interactive Periodic Table of the Elements
The coolest Periodic Table of the Elements out there today has been created by Theo Gray — a modern day version of a mad scientist that has committed himself to building a collection of physical samples of all of the elements. We use hard copies of his collection in class because they are visually stunning. This link connects to a Flash version of his collection created by Dow and Popular Science magazine.
Abundance of Elements Graphic
One of the key takeaways from this mini-project is that certain elements appear far more frequently in the universe than others. Students are being asked to make comparisons between the elements that they find in their products and the elements found in the human body, the universe, the earth’s crust, the earth’s atmosphere and the oceans. This infographic from a Visually user will help students to make those comparisons.
Theo Gray Tag on Popular Science Site
While it doesn’t look like he’s still writing for Popular Science, Theo Gray — the creator of the Periodic Table that we use in class — was a regular contributor to the site until late 2012. Each of his pieces is REALLY engaging, presenting a lesson in the elements one dangerous trick at a time. Think lighting grills with liquid Oxygen and plunging hands into liquid Nitrogen. Anyone interested in knowing more about how the elements act will dig Gray’s posts.
Hope this helps,