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Periodic Videos will fit easily into most middle and high school physical science courses, and it's a great fit for chemistry courses. Though the segments won’t teach kids fundamentals about chemical properties and atomic structure, turn here for great supplements that help kids truly understand what these substances are and how they’re useful. Showcase experiments you might not do in the classroom or chemicals and equipment you simply don’t have. Unfortunately, you’ll need to preview each video to assess its specific content and ensure that it's kid-friendly and classroom appropriate.
Try highlighting one elemental video a day as kids study groups and trends. If your students are doing group reports on elements, have kids preview videos to find the most interesting one-minute clips to share. Middle school teams will love the unexpected connections between geography and chemistry: Go on location to Australia to learn about methane and wallabies, or to Brazil’s sandy beaches to learn about hidden Xenon.Continue reading Show less
Periodic Videos boasts a library of on-topic, chemistry-minded clips via YouTube. The videos spotlight the eccentric, knowledgeable Professor Poliakoff and his team at the University of Nottingham. From the home page, users can click on any of the 118 elements in the periodic table, or choose other topics from the menu bar at the top of the page. “Molecules” showcases more than 50 videos on important chemicals (aspirin, TNT) and “Extra videos” includes those related to current events, travel, etc. The content is dynamic: New works are added, updates made, and there’s a lively, frequently updated Twitter feed. Videos range from a few minutes to just over 10 minutes in length. Most blend clear conversation from the professor with an awe-inducing demonstration, either in the lab or outside.
Chemistry geeks or not, most kids will be reeled in by a hydrogen-filled balloon exploding, among other great videos. And, once intrigued, kids will stay tuned to the chemicals, benefiting from visuals and tidbits not available in textbooks. Beyond their content, the videos portray a group of scientists asking interesting questions, trying different approaches, and having great fun while exploring chemistry. Teachers and students will note engineering challenges in experimental setup, as well as the use of some highly technical equipment. The presenters are also engaging and amusing with their British accents and very-British pronunciation of "aluminium."
In general, high school students would benefit from a little more basic information, like illustrations of the elements at the atomic level and brief overviews on why an element reacts as it does. Teachers should be aware that there are very few explicit “don’t try this at home” warnings. Also keep in mind that, though they're not addressed inappropriately, videos cover some questionable topics like Viagra and vodka.
Key Standards Supported
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Matter and Its Interactions
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.
Develop a model to illustrate that the release or absorption of energy from a chemical reaction system depends upon the changes in total bond energy.
Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium.
Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.
Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.
Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
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.
Undertake a design project to construct, test, and modify a device that either releases or absorbs thermal energy by chemical processes.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.