Why should students care about the periodic system or chemical elements? In NTNU‘s teaching module an interdisciplinary, curiosity-driven and student active approach to teaching the periodic table is exercised for all STEM teachers to take it up. Instead of presenting the periodic table as factual knowledge to be learnt by heart, we invite students to reflect on why and how researchers systematize knowledge and matter, and how such processes can render different categorisations, like the various representations of the periodic system. Students get to feel the weight of same volumes of titanium, iron, copper, and aluminium to reflect on how mass is an important principle for the categorisation of the periodic system. Research implies that students are more motivated to learn if the scientific topics are placed in a context. Therefore, the activities introduce elements that have some personal, professional or societal relevance; students are invovled in discussions of socio-scientific issues related to theseelements. 3D models of the periodic system are used to help students visualize trends instead of memorizing them. By making such a student-active module for pre-service-teachers, NTNU hopes to encourage a motivating and student active approach to teach the periodic table to students all over Europe.
Download the STEMkey Periodic Table Poster
Download the materials for module 7 here, available in English, Slovenian, German & Norwegian. The materials include an outline, worksheets, a presentation, paper model instructions & 3D Lego instructions.