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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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A recent robotics workshop gave students in New Jersey the opportunity to experiment with 3D design using Autodesk® Tinkercad® and then to use their custom parts in their robots.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: What happens when you heat up or cool down a bunch of molecules? Do rubber bands behave as you might expect?

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This year, give your hardboiled eggs a twist and turn ordinary ovoid hardboiled eggs into fun shapes! The trick to the transformation is understanding the science behind the process of hardboiling.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: mix up your own bubbly drink and experiment to find just the right combination of ingredients.

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As winter turns to spring, farmers are preparing to plant this year's crops. For some, tilling their fields is a thing of the past.

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Mesmerizing video puts the physics of liquid in motion. Students and families can explore related science with hands-on activities that are fun to do at home or in the classroom.



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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