A Chemist’s #1 Tool – The Periodic Table of Elements

Class # 57   Grades: 7- 8- 9

Class Overview

Have you ever wondered what makes the colors in fireworks? How dirty, smelly, and oily (all around gross) water is purified and cleaned? How crystals are formed? How copper is recycled, and what various elements look like and react? These answers and more can be determined using one very special tool – the periodic table. No chemist can be without one. If careers in health care, engineering, or biotechnology interest you, the time to ready yourself is now. If your future includes advanced high school or college science courses, a strong foundation can be built here. Chemistry is not only a fantastic and interesting science, but its study also develops critical thinking skills that are valuable in all academic disciplines. That’s why chemistry is called “The Central Science.” What’s more, it’s FUN!

During these three weeks of summer we will create atomic models, discover elements of the periodic table with the game “The Unknown Terrorist”, create a new mythical element called “beanium”, become a “parent” to a specific element, and grow a crystal. We will focus our studies on dihydrogen monoxide (a.k.a. Water). We will take two field trips involving dihydrogen monoxide. We will tour a wastewater treatment plant and discuss how this type of water is cleaned before being released back into the environment. During our second field trip, we will tour a water treatment plant and understand how your drinking water is prepared. Your teacher loves sweets so expect to work with M&Ms and Gummy Bears as well. After this course you will understand that the diversity of all chemical behavior results from only about 100 different elements and thus only 100 different kind of atoms. Amazing, huh? The building blocks of the periodic table are here for you to explore.

Teachers

Elizabeth Genskow

Elizabeth Genskow has her Master’s Degree in Science Education from Concordia University, Portland, OR and is currently working on her Doctoral degree in Education. Her undergraduate degrees were in Chemistry and Earth Science from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has presented chemistry textbook readability research at the convention of the American Chemical Society and participated in research with the Minnesota taconite exploration project. Elizabeth has been a chemistry teacher for eight years at Centennial High School. Her primarily teaching assignment is a course she developed, Honors Chemistry 9. She also teaches General Chemistry I and II. Elizabeth loves working with honors students and seeing them rise to presented challenges. She has always felt a calling to teach, and her enthusiasm for science is carried throughout all her classroom instructions.

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