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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 and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


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Thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the INFINITY Science Center, and Science Buddies, teachers in Mississippi got a booster course in rocket science—and paper airplane folding.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: use dough to explore the relationship between dimensions of an object and volume.

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In movies like Dolphin Tale, you don't have to look far to find the engineering design process in action. With the steps of the engineering process being acted out as the story unfolds, students see that success often involves a great deal of trial, error, testing, and redesigning.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science of making soup from dried beans.

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Book 3 in the Nick and Tesla series offers great gadget-oriented science and engineering fun from the twins as they stay with their eccentric scientist uncle for the summer.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the role of fat and temperature on pie crust texture.



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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