Battleship Science!

Ted Beyer, Educational Innovations

By Ted Beyer

You may be familiar with the game Battleship!  The version most people recall includes two plastic folding boards (red and blue) plus two sets of grey plastic ships and pegs.  It was released by Milton Bradley in 1967.  I had a set myself—a birthday present in 1969 (yeah, I’m that old).  The objective of the game is to sink your opponent’s ships.

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Teaching the Periodic Table


Teaching with a 3D Model of the Periodic Table?

by: Roy Alexander

Who knew?

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.)3-D teaching the Periodic Table

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.

3-D teaching the Periodic TableShe pointed out that the Main Group element’s ability to stay as a unit all the way to the last period would make her job of teaching trends simpler – as they are most obvious that way.

(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 »

Heat-Sensitive Paper

Ron Perkins, Educational Innovationsby: Ron Perkins

A short time ago I received the following inquiry regarding our Heat-Sensitive Paper. One of the joys of being the president of Educational Innovations is having the opportunity to answer questions like this.

Q: What chemical coats your Heat-Sensitive Paper that makes it change color? My chemistry class wants to know the chemistry of what is happening on our heat-sensitive periodic tables. Can you pleaseHeat Sensitive Periodic Tables help us?

A: Some of the characteristics of our heat-sensitive periodic tables are easy to understand and some more challenging. The inks used provide color at lower temperatures and are colorless at higher temperatures. The change over temperature is called the “critical temperature.” Adding heat to the paper causes the paper to loose its color, an “endothermic” reaction. The reverse, going from colorless to colored, is an “exothermic” reaction and returns the heat.

To manufacture this paper, long rolls of white paper are unwound, coated on one side, dried, cut, and finally stacked into reams. Read the rest of this entry »