5-8, 6-12, Apps, Art, Education, Science, Videos


The Kuriositas blog recently featured, “Atomic,” a short video created by students at Columbus College of Art and Design.  The students were tasked with creating animations of some of the elements on the periodic table, and this video is a compilation of some of the best.  Learning about the elements and their symbols would have been vastly more entertaining when I was in high school if I had been given a similar assignment!  In fact, there are a few elements in the video that I would swear I never heard of (dysprosium?), but now I will never forget them.

Head on over to Kuriositas to view “Atomic” for yourself.  Also, if you want more fun with the elements, augment your reality with this activity from Daqri.

the creators of “Atomic”
3-12, Apps, Education, Research, Science, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

Periodic Videos from TED-Ed

Last week I did a post on the fabulous Elements 4D resource from Daqri.  Students can learn about the elements and compounds that can be made from some of them by using the free lesson plans now offered on their site.  Combine these plans with the free downloadable elements cubes and the free augmented reality app and you have a formula for success!

To add even more impact to your chemistry lessons, check out this great site that TED-Ed now offers.  In a collaborative project with film-maker Brady Haran, TED-Ed has produced videos to explain every single element of the Periodic Table.  Just click anywhere on the TED-Ed interactive Periodic Table, and take a look at the magical properties of any element!

You not only get to see each element, but demonstrations of them in action, such as the video of a hydrogen balloon exploding when exposed to heat.

Hydrogen Balloon Exploding
Hydrogen Balloon Exploding from TED-Ed Periodic Videos

Many of these are not demonstrations that could easily be done in a typical school science lab, so the videos are a good supplement to a hands-on curriculum.

Even if you do not have the elements in your scope and sequence, you may want to keep this site in mind for students who show an affinity or curiosity for science.  It would be a great resource for independent research or Genius Hour projects.

3-12, Apps, Augmented Reality, Education, Science, Teaching Tools

Elements 4D Lesson Plans

You may remember a post I did earlier this year on the Elements 4D Cubes by Daqri.  These augmented reality cubes, which you can print on paper (I would recommend cardstock) for free, are an awesome way to learn about the Periodic Table. And, yes, the app that brings these cubes to life is free, too!

Several teachers, including me, were asked to create some lesson plans to use with the cubes.  (Full disclosure – we received compensation for this.)  Daqri just released the plans last week. And guess what! Yep, the lessons are free to download! I’m talking Science Standards, printable worksheets, video links, and games.  ALL FREE!


Once you start playing (and learning) with these cubes, you are probably going to wish you had a more durable set – like the wooden ones Daqri originally offered on Kickstarter.  You can sign up on this page to let them know that you would like to be notified when the new ones are available for purchase.  (Okay, so that’s not free, exactly, but it doesn’t cost anything to sign up – so that’s practically free, right?)

Feel inclined to create your own augmented reality content using the Daqri 4D Studio?  You can sign up and get fabulous tutorials here. Totally free! (See?  Back to the free stuff again.)

As you can tell, I’m a bit pumped about this.  Thanks to Drew Minock and Brad Waid, the Daqri 4D Evangelists who made all of this possible, as well as all of the teachers involved in the various plans! This is a great resource for teachers, homeschoolers, parents, and anyone else with curiosity and an interest in science.

If you want some more augmented reality resources, check out this page on my blog with activities, lesson plans, and recommended apps.

Education, Fun Friday, Videos, Websites

Phun Phriday Phun


Sometimes we just need to laugh.  Lately, I’ve been collecting a few things that make me smile, and I thought I’d share them in today’s Phun Phriday post.

The above quote was taken from a collection of submissions for a contest called, “What’s the Funniest Thing a Student Has Ever Said to You?”  I can’t attest to the validity of the site, but it offers Amazon gift cards as prizes for the best stories.  The deadline for entering is 3/19/14.

Many of you have already seen this video that offers a unique way to announce school closures, but I’m going to embed it below anyway.  I’ve watched it five times and can’t stop laughing.  If you like this one, you might want to also check out the “Ice, Ice, Baby” announcement, too.

Then, there’s the breakdancing teacher

You might be amused and amazed by the Tumblr of Meghan Coleman, who is on a quest to create new balloon sculptures each day for a year.

Balloon Sculpture by Meghan Coleman
Bobsled Balloon Sculpture by Meghan Coleman

And, last but not least, if you are feeling the need to geek out a bit while you smile, here is The Periodic Table of Super-Powers (I’m pretty sure I can live without Af, but I think  I wouldn’t mind a bit of Lc.)  If you use the symbols to spell out “Teacher”, you get:

Te – Teleportation

A – Alien

Ch – Chemicals

E – Elemental

R – Royalty

I’ll let you reach your own conclusions about that…

The Periodic Table of Super-Powers from

The Periodic Table of Super-Powers from Comics Alliance