By Matt Nicholas, Exeter-Milligan Science Instructor
The periodic table is one of mankind’s crowning achievements. It summarizes and organizes all of the matter in the universe on one sheet of paper. There are many ways to use and study the periodic table to better understand the world we live in, but I like to think of the elements as the letters of nature’s alphabet. In the same way that letters make words and words make sentences, elements make compounds and compounds make up more complex forms of matter such as living, breathing organisms. The problem is, if you don’t know the alphabet, you are not going to be writing sentences, essays, or newspaper articles.
As a part of our study of atoms and the periodic table, we play “Battleship” on the periodic table. This allows the students to interact with the periodic table and the elements it contains. The table is organized into horizontal rows or “periods” labeled 1 through 7 and vertical columns or “groups” labeled 1 through 18. Students must call for elements by these coordinates first, then they may use the element’s name to confirm their call. The game is played just like regular battleship with the object being to find and sink your opponent’s ships. The students enjoy a little competition in the classroom.
In the picture attached, Casey Underwood and Kole Svec square off in an epic game of Element Battleship. Even during the struggle Casey has an eye for the camera!