The Periodic Table – It’s Elemental!

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) to mark the 150th anniversary of the Mendeleev periodic table. This iconic resource, a vital tool for all who learn and work in science, provides ample opportunities to engage even the youngest students. You do not have to wait for the next anniversary to include a periodic table session in your science enrichment program.

The Panamax Challenge

This module is an alternative version of The Great Boat Float Challenge, which may be more satisfying for older students — third grade and up — than simply building a boat to hold as much weight as possible. Students consider the real-world problem that marine engineers and naval architects face when designing ships to pass through the Panama Canal. “Panamax” refers to the maximum allowable dimensions for those ships. This is a good activity for teams of two students.

Student running the vinegar test on a powder sample, watching what color the solution turns.

Mystery Powders

A mysterious white powder! What could it be? Our young investigators will sleuth out the identities of the mystery mixtures by first building an “answer key” for how the individual “known” powders react to a variety of tests. Then they’ll use this key to figure out what pair of powders are in each unknown mixture by subjecting them to these same tests.