The Story of The Periodic Table: Unit 2 - The Elements

The Story of The Periodic Table: Unit 2 - The Elements


Schedule: This is a Self-Paced Course
Grade Span: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

  • About This Course

    In a quest to make sense of all the matter in the universe and find some grand organizing principle behind it all, you first need to find the unbreakable, smallest things that are worthy of categorizing. But where are these things, which we now call elements? Where is gold? Where is hydrogen? Where is sodium? Where is californium? In the forest? Have you ever seen a pile of lead or bismuth, just laying on the ground? Where is this stuff?


    In this unit, we find them and then probe their chemical properties looking for trends lurking amongst the chemical elements. 

  • Prerequisites

    • Solving for one unknown in an algebraic equation. Ideally, students should have taken or be currently enrolled in pre-algebra or algebra. 

    • Proficiency with graphing. Students can determine a scale for coordinate axes and properly draw and label axes.

    • Familiarity with the scientific method and the ability to design simple experiments.

    • Ability to collect and record data.

    • Ability to maintain an orderly and safe space for small lab experiments. Small amounts of acids are used and small combustion reactions occur, which require careful and patient attention.

  • How a Self-Paced Course Works

    Students advance through a series of really interesting labs. Each lab goes like this:


    • Kid takes materials out of a box 

    • Kid watches a 3-minute video

    • Kid runs a 10-30-minute lab. (Kid is pumped up!)

    • Kid does a lab write-up and a little problem set for quick feedback 

    • Kid notches a win, has brand new knowledge, and moves to the next lab! 


    In addition, there are bonus videos and readings and even a problem set designed to deepen an intuitive understanding of the topics.