Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Ptable could be used in almost any setting, from individual reference to whole-group lecture to small-group research projects. It offers translation into 46 languages, so ELL students will have no difficulty keeping up in class. Lectures comparing element properties come to life through color-coding and temperature and ionization slider bars. Instant lists of compounds for individual elements or any combination of elements are a click away for research or homework. Social studies students can find info and sources on discoveries and scientists embedded in Wikipedia entries, videos, and podcasts. Environmental science teachers might point kids to abundance percentages for Earth's crust, the sun, oceans, meteors, and humans. Though not super glitzy or simplified, in Dayah's own words, Ptable is the one that makes "Mendeleev's creation come alive."Continue reading Show less
Ptable's first menu tab sports Wikipedia and WebElements.com definitions, videos from the University of Nottingham, podcasts from the Royal Society of Chemistry, and compelling images of everyday applications -- all accessed by first clicking the menu, then any element of interest. From there, it just gets more data-intensive. In addition to the basics of atomic number, symbol, name, and weight, the 18 groups of elements are clickable across the top. Users can also interactively explore 16 properties and their subproperties through radio buttons and sliders, view images of orbitals, list isotopes, iterate compounds, and more.
Ptable packs a powerful reference punch followed by an advanced ability to manipulate information and seek out more. Starting with basics like atomic weight and moving on to fascinating stuff like abundance in the oceans, you can dive into interpreting color codes, experimenting with dynamic and interactive features, and sampling videos, podcasts, and a video demo of the site presented by owner Michael Dayah (though you definitely come away wishing he had taken it slower). Kids will be entranced by visuals of common items that contain the element -- such as air packs, mica, and welding kits for oxygen, or sushi, canned tuna, and toy mazes for mercury (especially when they learn how dangerous mercury is).
Although games, activities, and the ability to save views are absent, Dayah does orient you in the About section, where he outlines site history, navigation features, sources, search techniques, and troubleshooting tips, plus he accepts questions via email. The sheer volume of information could be a bit overwhelming for newbies, and you might have a little trouble with small text. In the end, Ptable is the periodic table of choice for serious and aspiring young chemists.
Key Standards Supported
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 models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.