Monday, November 17, 2008

Periodically Interesting

Chemistry teachers:
Sometimes, the skillful integration of technology allows educators to make well-known, yawn-inducing content much more engaging. By taking standard knowledge and infusing it with rich images and links to remote content, what was less than riveting becomes an interactive resource that generates new levels of interest in both students and teachers. Consider, for example, introducing your pupils to the 3D Periodic Table. Doing so is a fun and practical way to help those in your classroom latch onto fundamental concepts related to the elements.

You'll need to install a free VRML viewer for Internet Explorer known as Cortona. Cortona makes it possible for Internet Explorer to display an interactive, 3D version of the Periodic Table. Downloading and installing Cortona is easy. Just surf on over to the Parallel Graphics Cortona page and follow the instructions (as shown below).

By having students explore this novel and engaging interface for the Periodic Table, your learners will have useful means of visualizing the content you're trying to share with them.

Need an interesting segue for using the 3D Periodic Table? Look no further because history is on your side. On this day in 2006 the official naming of Element 111--also known as Roentgenium (Rg)--took place during a ceremony held at the Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt, Germany, a "City of Science." Element 111 was discovered at GSI. It's official name, Roentgenium, honors Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen who discovered the existence of X-rays. Rontgen's achievement subsequently earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics. Why not have your students get to know Roentgenium and other intriguing elements a little better by manipulating 3D models of them at an interactive whiteboard or on a laptop?

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