Having completed a unit on stoichiometry, I was looking to review with my HS students some key topics before Spring Break. I had received from FLINN scientific their "It's Elementary--March Madness" activity:
http://www.flinnsci.com/chemmarch14. The activity is set up similar to the so called bracketology of 64 teams (in this case elements) that get finalized down to a single winner. Each round consists of rules that can be used to determine the winner then of each round. I have done this activity in the past and here is how it went. The lesson usually consisted of students grabbing the activity once the test was complete and begin looking through the periodic table to determine the so called winner. In most cases students wound up turning to the internet or the book to look up information such as the specific size of an atomic radius or the exact value of an elements electronegativity to determine the winner of that round. Rarely would I have a student finish and several retreated to taking the assignment home to complete. The next day, students would come in with the assignment 1/2 complete and so the review process never seemed to be as successful as I would have liked. With this years activity, the first round consisted of students researching the date of discovery of all 64 elements to begin. The element that was discovered earlier (in free element form) is considered the winner and moves on to the next round. As for not having a periodic table that lists this information or the time it would take to look up each of the individual dates of discovery would again result in the assignment having to be taken home. However, the free app entitled EMD PTE can easily be found within the app store and is a great periodic table with a wealth of information. Honestly, download it and see for yourself. It is my personal go to periodic table on my iPhone and iPad. Regarding the year of discovery for an element, well it can either be viewed in chart formation or as a popup on the periodic table itself as your scroll through individual years. It will also include a photo of the discoverer(s) of each of the elements if you so desire. As for the lesson plan, my students completed the assignment with ease and with no major complaints. The capability to then project each of the individual tables such as atomic radius and ionization energies, as well as the date of discovery led for a great review session on periodicity. Now as I prepare for redox and the determination of oxidation numbers then my search continues for an app for that.