Elements 4D by DAQRI is best used when integrated into classroom lessons. Students can work in pairs or small groups with an iPad to bring the element blocks together and test their predictions. Patterns become more obvious when all the small groups share their observations using a central data collection point either in a shared online document or posted at the front of the room on a large data table.Continue reading Show less
Elements 4D uses augmented reality to help students explore elements and chemical reactions. To use the app, first print special element blocks on standard letter-size paper in your classroom. Cut the shapes out, follow the instructions to fold them into cubes, and glue them together to hold them in place. Once the blocks are ready, you can hold them in front of your device camera so the elements they represent can be viewed in augmented reality.
Students can manipulate the cubes to look at 36 different chemical elements and also learn those elements' names, atomic weights, and structure. They can also bring together two different element cubes to see if they react. If they do, students will be able to observe the compound created and the chemical equation that represents the reaction.
Elements 4D by DAQRI is a powerful way to help students notice patterns in the periodic table. It lets them predict whether or not elements will react and then actually see if their prediction comes true. One challenge is finding the required element blocks to print out. When you click on the Get Blocks button on the app, it leads to an error page. But if you hunt around on DAQRI’s website, you can find paper printouts that also work on the last pages of the teacher lesson plans.
Lesson plans labeled with different NGSS Performance Expectations are available on DAQRI's website. Be cautious of this alignment. One lesson claims to meet the performance expectation that students will "communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials," but students only use Elements 4D by DAQRI to determine whether elements in their standard states are solids, liquids, or gases. Other lessons (such as the fifth-grade Adventure 1 "What Could Matter Be") are spot-on, guiding students to use the app alongside classroom activities to help them visualize the elements in everyday items such as an aluminum can. The augmented reality is a neat twist, but keep in mind that it's not crucial for helping students understand how and why some elements combine.
Key Standards Supported
Matter and Its Interactions
Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
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