Connecting Black Panther's Vibranium to the Periodic Table

Element symbol for fictitious Vibranium

My colleague, LaVetta Appleby, and I recently published a letter in the Journal of Chemical Education entitled “Black Panther, Vibranium and the Periodic Table.”

"The fictional African nation, Wakanda, led by King T’Challa, has a thriving STEM economy based on the production and use of vibranium, which has amazing chemical and physical properties."2

Why should you read our letter? In this activity, we share how we utilized the Disney movie, Black Panther,1 to discuss the Periodic Law. As chemistry educators, it is imperative that we try to make key connections to student experiences and classroom content, which is critical for effective student engagement in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) disciplines. If vibranium existed, where do you think it belongs on the periodic table?

Black Panther also provides a platform to engage in a national dialogue about the important contributions of women and people of color to STEM.


1 - Watch the Black Panther trailer @ (accessed 6/11/18)

2 - Collins, S.N.; Appleby, L., Black Panther, Vibranium and the Periodic Table, Journal of Chemical Education, Article ASAP, 2018, DOI:10.1021/acs.jchemed8600206. The letter is open-access without a subscription to   JCE. (accessed 6/11/18)



We would like to thank Lawrence Technological University general chemistry students enrolled in University Chemistry 1 during the Spring semester.

Lawrence Technological University also published a press release about the JCE article cited.