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How do you teach the Periodic Table?

The periodic table. It’s what everyone associates with chemistry and rightly so. It is one of the key pieces of ‘equipment’ in any chemistry class. So it’s not surprising that our most popular resource on Learn Chemistry is our interactive Visual Elements Periodic Table (VEPT), with around 70,000 people using it every month.

We are delighted that so many students and teachers are already making use of some of the amazing features – from podcasts to historical facts – that VEPT has to offer. But we want to know which features are particularly useful in your classroom and which bits are most popular with your students. This way we can make sure that we can make it even better.

When we launched the 2nd phase of VEPT back in October last year, we were excited when Professor Martyn Poliakoff gave us the go ahead to feature his extremely popular series – the Periodic Table of videos – in our own periodic table. Professor Poliakoff himself presents this series of short films, which was shot by Brady Haran and features scientists from the University of Nottingham, in an engaging and entertaining way. In the videos, he explores each of the 118 elements through spectacular demonstrations and easy-to-follow explanations.

It’s been just over half a year since we added the videos to our periodic table, and Professor Poliakoff and Nottingham’s scientists are curious about what people think of them. They’d love to hear your feedback on their videos and how you use them in the classroom, so they put together a short survey.

The survey only has ten questions – so if you’ve got a few minutes spare, please do let them know what you think!

Click to watch this video

The charismatic Professor Martyn Poliakoff talking about gold, inside the gold bullion vault

Whilst we’re on the subject of the periodic table, I should also let you know about some of the exciting new plans that we are working on at the moment. All good things come in threes, so we’re working hard to plan out a third phase of new developments and exciting additions to our periodic table.

Some of the new features we are working on are a scarcity tab to highlight the uses and threats to rare earth elements, bringing in even more video content, and perhaps even creating a periodic table in different languages.
No doubt these will keep us busy for a while. But of course we always welcome ideas from our users. So do get in touch to let us know what you would like to see in our next periodic table update.
Posted by Richard Grandison on Jul 8, 2013 9:29 AM Europe/London

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