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Elemental Resources

posted on March 27, 2012

Elemental Resources

In celebration of NOVA’s new episode, Hunting the Elements, we thought putting together a list of elemental resources would be appropriate. Here you will find interactives, video shorts, quizzes, and a full list of science programs that deal with the elements, their properties, and a host of fascinating characteristics they share. NOVA’s new program asks the question: Where do nature’s building blocks come from? Host David Pogue takes students through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe’s most abundant elements, and the rarest of the rare--substances cooked up in atom smashers that flicker into existence for only fractions of a second. Check out this clip:


The Elements iPad App The free app, available now on the App Store, takes the periodic table off the wall and puts it into users' hands, bringing life to the world's elements in colorful and dynamic ways. NOVA Elements, featuring tech guru David Pogue, allows users to explore an interactive periodic table, build elements from their particles, construct 3D rotating molecules, and watch the two-hour NOVA program.

Graphing the Periodic Table Whether created by nature or in the lab, chemical substances are all made of some combination of just 118 pure elements. These elements come together to produce an amazing diversity of materials. In this interactive, explore patterns in the periodic table. See how the electron configurations and properties of the elements vary according to their place in the table. Investigate the patterns by plotting and comparing the elements by molar mass, atomic radius, ionic radius, melting point, boiling point, electronegativity, and ionization energies.

metalMetal Fundamentals Despite its ubiquity in our lives, most of us know little about metal. Why does it bend when other hard materials like ceramic or stone do not? What is the difference—a crucial one, it turns out—between hardness and toughness in metal? Why does it get stronger the more defects it has? In this interview with Dr. Rick Vinci, a Stanford-trained materials scientist and engineer at Lehigh University, find answers to these and other basic questions about metals, including how it all relates to that wonder of steel technology, the samurai sword.

An Elemental Quiz How well do you know your way around the periodic table? Can you tell a noble gas from neptunium? In this quiz, test your knowledge of some chemistry basics, history, and trivia, including the quest to create new, super heavy elements on the periodic table.

light my fireLight My Fire The ability of the elements to change phase—to transform from a solid to a liquid to a gas—is a perfect set-up for romantic comedy. Watch the story of an unlikely laboratory love affair, and learn about one of the basic properties of matter in the process.

Name that Element  Do you know your helium from your hafnium? Can you even pronounce praseodymium and ytterbium? In this quiz, we challenge you to identify the names of 30 "mystery elements" as quickly as you can. For each element, you'll receive a series of clues over 30 seconds and you can share your score with friends on Facebook.

Island of Stability


In this video clip, a nuclear chemist aims to create entirely new elements to add to the periodic table.

Strange World of the Electron In this activity, students learn what an element is and discover that all elements on Earth were formed in stars. They examine the structure of atoms and discover that scientists' understanding of this structure has changed over time -- and will likely be refined even further. Lastly, they begin to explore the sometimes-strange arrangement and behavior of electrons and to connect these characteristics to the chemical properties of elements.


Tags: chemistry education educators elements interactive NOVA science teachers video

Subjects: Science & Technology

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