I have taught
high school science (biology, chemistry, earth science and physics)
In every biology class, I cover introductory chemistry at the beginning
of the year. Frustrated that all available periodic tables were geared
exclusively towards chemistry concepts, and were intimidating in their
appearance, I wanted a chart that presented biological concepts in a
chemistry format. Finding nothing that fit the bill, I ultimately decided
to produce my own periodic table for biology.
After its successful marketing, I was approached to produce one for
chemistry and eventually received a grant from DuPont for its development.
At this point, there are two flavors of tables: biology and chemistry.
Each comes in a large classroom poster format and also in a smaller
notebook size for students.
As the first two posters met with success, we moved into a third project
introducing the standard model of particle physics to both chemistry
and physics classes. After researching on and off for 2 years, including
trips to FermiLab and Argonne National Accelerator in Chicago, we developed
an overview for the Anatomy of an Atom poster and proceeded to edit
the text and images during the summer of 2003. The resulting poster
clearly (and as simply as possible) introduces students to the inner
composition of ground state atoms. It, like the biology table, can play
a major or minor role in class activities, but it enables students to
independently pursue a greater depth of study than most first-year classes
offer. If nothing else, it gives students a grasp of terms that they
have heard and shows that more is currently known about the complexities
of atomic structure than most texts imply.
Our charts fill three definite needs within the high school science
teaching environment and the initial enthusiastic customer feedback
suggests that we have gained the respect of teachers for our ability
to present useful information in a vibrant, educationally sound and