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"Elemental" Essay Contest

Int_year_chemistry_Pantone_C_thumbnail.pngWhat's your Periodic Table style?


Do you like things:


  • light (He)?

  • with a bit of patina (Cu)?

  • on the salty side (Na)?

  • noxious (N)?

  • fire-retardant (Br)?

  • metallic (In)?

  • radioactive (Pu)?

With 118 elements on the Periodic Table, there is something for everyone and plenty of chemical reactions to go around. If you have something to say about one of the six elements listed above, you should put your thoughts on paper and enter Nature Chemistry's essay competition, part of the International Year of Chemistry.


Each issue of Nature Chemistry includes a back-page essay called "In Your Element." Students (and recent graduates) are invited to enter the essay competition by writing a 700-800 word essay, in the style of an "In Your Element" article, on one of these elements: helium, nitrogen, sodium, copper, bromine, indium or plutonium.
Even student scientists can wax poetic (AKA "write with feeling"), especially when it comes to the properties of a favorite, or critical, or pervasive, or transparent, or explosive, or notorious element. What do you have to say? To get a feel for the tone and style of "In Your Element" articles, check out Ken Wade's "Bonding with boron." The "In Your Element" on the back page of the current issue of Nature Chemistry is titled: "W for tungsten and wolfram."

The deadline for entries is August 1, 2011. For complete rules and submission information, visit: http://www.nature.com/nchem/iyeessay/index.html

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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School and family science weekly spotlight: experiment with tonic water and a black light to learn more about fluorescence and light energy!

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Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!

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Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?

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School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.

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With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.

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Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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