ELEMENT GRID - An Introduction to the Periodic Table
The assignment is to fit as many of the names of the chemical elements as possible into a 20 x 20 square grid. Points for the elements are scored according to the atomic number of the element-Hydrogen receiving a score of 1 point, Lawrencium 103. No element with an atomic number greater than 103 is allowed.
The following rules must be observed:
- No element may be used in the grid more than once.
- Each element must be entered, one letter per square, so that it reads continuously either left to right within a row or top to bottom within a column. There may be no empty squares separating the letters of an element's name.
- If two or more elements appear in the same row or column, at least one empty square must separate them.
- The completed grid may not contain any words other that the 103 element names; and it may not contain any nonwords (two or more adjacent letters that do not spell one of the elements).
- All the elements in the grid must be linked to each other either directly or through an unbroken chain of other elements.
- If an element's name contains the name of another element, only the longer name counts toward your score.
- Along with your grid you must include a list of the element names used along with their atomic numbers so that results may be easily checked.
- The grid will be evaluated and the grade entered as a quiz grade.
- Students having a grid containing 2000 points or better will receive a grade of 100.
- For each 200 points less, the grade will be 10 points less.
- The student producing the highest score will have an additional point added to his quarter grade.
A variation would be to allow element symbols to be used for those elements whose names can not fit into the grid. If so, only half credit should be allowed for the symbol and the scoring would have to be adjusted to allow for higher scores.
Adapted from: "It's Elementary", a contest which appeared in Games Magazine, February 1985, by Michael J. Kelly, Westford Academy, Westford, MA 01886.
Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Chemistry
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281, Princeton NJ 08543-5281