A fun new visualization of the Periodic Table we’re all familiar with from high school can help teach how we each element from the periodic table. Keith Enevoldsen at elements.wlonk.com has created a Periodic Table complete with images of what each element (aside from the super-heavy elements that don’t exist in nature) is used to make.
The examples run the gamut from well-known applications like Carbon (since it’s a building-block of life), to lesser-known elements and uses, such as bismuth being used in fire sprinkler systems.
The updated table could be an effective educational tool for students of all ages. Having something tangible and recognizable attached to each element could help students to more easily memorize every element, especially the less common entries.
The visual table is a wonderful addition to other fun educational tools, like this jaunty Period Table Song.
Scientific progress of our species is constantly widening the number of elements that appear on the table. The latest additions to the table joined permanently back in January of 2016. Later that year, elements 113, 115, 117, and 118, where given their permanent names of nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively. These element has a place in Enevoldsen’s visual table even though they contain no known application outside of atomic research.
These new super-heavy additions to the periodic table do not exist in nature, but are created synthetically by humans. As we continue to push the boundaries of chemistry with new innovation and discovery, there really is no limit to future additions to the table.
This makes educational aids such as the visual table even more useful. Connecting complex concepts like an expanding periodic table with concrete, real-life applications make them easier and more fun to learn. Getting children interested in the sciences in new, creative ways will allow the spirit of discovery to endure with each new generation.