The Great Element Hunt

Let’s use social media and have some fun with the elements of The Periodic Table. Help us fill in our Blank Periodic Table of Elements with your pictures of examples posted to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

The Rules:

  • Take a picture of a single item or scene.
  • Tag the picture with the following hashtags:
    • #greatelementhunt, #randallscience, #byrampride.
  • Do not say which element you are portraying.
  • Try to get your followers engaged to guess which element you are trying to portray.

The Picture:

  • It should contain only one item or subject that portrays one element. Some of these will be hard so it will take some imagination.
  • It can be a drawing or doodle.
  • Can not contain text

Let’s use Oxygen as an example

All three of these would be ok, but you can see that the last one may be a little confusing.

Example Post

  • All images should be school appropriate.
  • Images should not include the faces of students or other personally identifiable information.
  • Make sure to ask: “What Element is it?”
  • Include the 3 hashtags #greatelementrace #byrampride #randallscience

Is this Graded?

  • Each post is worth 2 extra credit points.
  • You can earn up to 10 points.

The Law of Conservation of Energy

Students enjoy learning about potential and kinetic energy using the on-line PhET Energy Skate-park Basics simulation.I thought how much more exciting it would be if we could bring the skate-park to life in the classroom. My challenge was how do I have the students measure the changes between potential and kinetic energy in real time without fancy, complicated equipment. The solution to my challenge was not surprisingly a cell phone and Google’s Lab Journal app. This free app allows students to use the sensors already built into the cell phone to measure and record acceleration. We strapped a cell phone to the skateboard, let it fly down our classroom sized half-pipe. The results were fantastic! The logistics of using a classroom sized half-pipe with 26 students was the next challenge. I set up 2 more stations. One of the stations was a matchbox car race down an old pinewood derby ramp. Students calculated the speed of their matchbox car at two drastically different elevations to demonstrate gravitational potential energy.Another station used two old ramps linked together in a table top halfpipe. Students rolled 4 different objects down the ramp and compared the release height to the height the object achieved in the other side. This station focused on friction. Meanwhile other students continued to work on the PhET simulation.It was certainly a very busy and not so quiet science room. At one point I looked around the room after things were moving along and all the students were busy doing something.