Teaching with a 3D Model of the Periodic Table?
by: Roy Alexander
I never realized how easy is would be to teach with my 3D periodic table until I started listening to a science teacher at last year’s NSTA convention.
She recognized that the AAE (Alexander Arrangement of Elements) she was walking over to at my lunch table was pretty much the standard chart: rolled and folded (I knew that) and that the common 2D element arrangement is the same thing unrolled and unfolded with the familiar separations and multi-gaps. (I knew that too: it’s what I started with when fixing the gaps that annoyed me so much.)
She (Allison) said that she’d had to make her own 3D periodic table ever since her professor showed her how much better it is for introduction of the idea for middle and high school students. That’s when I began to get a glimmer of its usefulness in the classroom – beyond the motivation of novelty and appeal of the logic I used to develop it!
The photos, she told me, bring reality to the common abstract chart, and are a terrific way to have the least academic of her students to immediately identify where metallic elements are, and by seeing, for instance, the Noble Gases looking like downtown at night.
(I had NO idea!)
Earlier I’d learned that although Mendeleev got only half of his missing element predictions correct, being the first to leave space for the undiscovered was pretty gutsy, giving him the right to state “…the elements if arranged according to their atomic weight…” in his Periodic Law. Read the rest of this entry »