Category Archives: Chemistry

What You Probably Didn’t Know About the Periodic Table

Shared from National Geographic


Did you know there’s a prank hiding in one of the most widely recognized charts in science history? Look closely at the bottom row of the periodic table of elements…still don’t see it? It’s staring right at you at element 94, plutonium.

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What Would Mendeleev Say About Synthetic Elements?

Dmitri Mendeleev was an excellent teacher and searched mendeleev statuefor ways to make chemistry easier for his students. He began arranging the chemical elements in groups with similar characteristics which developed into today’s periodic chart of the elements. Mendeleev’s original chart included 63 elements; today we know 118. Though puzzled by the gaps in his first table, Mendeleev was confident the table was right and the missing elements to fit in the gaps would show up … sometime.

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Cooking with NGSS

Despite only 13 states and the District of Columbia having formally adopted the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), many school classes_labdistricts in non-acting states are not waiting on their governments. We are hearing more and more reports from teachers in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wyoming that their schools have adopted NGSS in some format despite few (and sometimes abandoned) legislation discussion. Considering all of this, at Fisher Science Education, we thought it would be a good exercise to task ourselves with an assignment more and more science teachers across America are being asked to complete: rewrite an existing lab activity following the NGSS formula. How did we do it and what can we share? Read on to find out and then follow the web link to reference and use our developed lab in your classroom!

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Sun Protection Makes Vacation Sense

sunscreenThose warming rays of the sun have a well-deserved Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde reputation. While they generate vitamin D and make us feel great, they also cause skin damage with UV radiation. UV-A radiation prematurely ages skin and contributes to skin cancer. UV-B radiation creates the tans we love and burns we hate.

Our skin’s natural protection, melanin — associated with the amount of pigment in the skin — is not enough. So how can you enjoy the outdoors safely?

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Why Does a Wet Dog Smell So Bad?

eb4a384639a1886f006f844abbb51ee6Ask any dog owner their least favorite things about their pooch, and inevitably, the wet-dog smell will be added to the (likely short) list. Most dogs love water and love the car, but the smell that’s left behind on your way home from the lake or beach is rather impossible to forget. So what is it about water that turns a dog’s normal musty smell into an unbearable and unforgettable stench?

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The Science of Fireworks

fireworks7What are The Fourth of July, baseball games and New Years Eve all known for? FIREWORKS of course! The bright and sparkling lights from fireworks are so unique and beautiful and a great firework show can be unforgettable. But what are fireworks? How do they create those magical displays in the sky? Fireworks may seem astonishing, but the science behind them is easy to understand.

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nanoparticles_lancastriaResearchers developed a drug that may stop the spread of cancer cells, but needed to develop a process for introducing the drug without damaging healthy tissues.  The scientists turned to nanoparticles, objects so small that 800 of them could fit in the width of a human hair. These tiny particles can deliver the drug directly to cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.


African American History Month- Modern Day Heroes

The final installment in our February series for African American History Month, this post highlights some of the more contemporary scientists and their accomplishments.

These scientists built upon the legacy set by their predecessors, continuing to research, discover and invent to the benefit of all.  Their advancements include treatments for glaucoma and rheumatoid arthritis, the microphone as we know it today, methods to research life on Mars, and research on songbirds.  This post features Percy Julian, James West, Emmett Chappelle, and Erich Jarvis.

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New Test to Determine Suspect’s Gender at Crime Scene

shutterstock_92369299When a crime is committed, time is of the essence and investigators are always looking for newer and faster ways to help identify the culprit. Now technology may be able to tell them the gender of the suspect at the very start of their investigation.

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The Smell of Money

An estimated $30 billion in illegal cash crosses U.S. borders into Mexico annually. Border Patrol has the daunting job of finding it before it leaves, and last year, U.S. officials seized $106 million. The Department of Homeland Security recently put out a public call for currency detection devices. KWJ Engineering responded with a money-sniffing instrument. The Bulk Currency Detection System (BCDS) relies upon gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).


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