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Interactively explore how the elements come together to produce the complex diversity of materials that make up the substances in our world. Click on "Human Body" to see which elements are most abundant in our bodies; click "Pyrotechnics" to see how experts combine certain elements to create fireworks; and learn which elements have the most extreme properties on the periodic table. Resource is appropriate for grades 5-10.

See Related Materials for links to additional interactive periodic tables, all appropriate for secondary education.

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
General Physics
- Properties of Matter
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
Other Sciences
- Chemistry
- Middle School
- High School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
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- Reference Material
- Audio/Visual
= Image/Image Set
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- Learners
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© 2008 WGBH Educational Foundation
Periodic Table , atoms, biochemistry, elements, fireworks
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created August 18, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 18, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 30, 2011
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AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 6-8: 4D/M1a. All matter is made up of atoms, which are far too small to see directly through a microscope.
  • 6-8: 4D/M1b. The atoms of any element are like other atoms of the same element, but are different from the atoms of other elements.
  • 6-8: 4D/M5. Chemical elements are those substances that do not break down during normal laboratory reactions involving such treatments as heating, exposure to electric current, or reaction with acids. All substances from living and nonliving things can be broken down to a set of about 100 elements, but since most elements tend to combine with others, few elements are found in their pure form.
  • 6-8: 4D/M6a. There are groups of elements that have similar properties, including highly reactive metals, less-reactive metals, highly reactive nonmetals (such as chlorine, fluorine, and oxygen), and some almost completely nonreactive gases (such as helium and neon).
  • 6-8: 4D/M6b. An important kind of reaction between substances involves the combination of oxygen with something elseā€”as in burning or rusting.
  • 6-8: 4D/M6c. Carbon and hydrogen are common elements of living matter.
  • 6-8: 4D/M10. A substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.
  • 6-8: 4D/M11. Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances with different characteristic properties.
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(WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2008), WWW Document, (
NOVA: It's Elemental, (WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2008), <>.
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NOVA: It's Elemental. (2011, May 30). Retrieved June 30, 2022, from WGBH Educational Foundation:
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WGBH Educational Foundation. NOVA: It's Elemental. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, May 30, 2011. (accessed 30 June 2022).
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NOVA: It's Elemental. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2008. 30 May 2011. 30 June 2022 <>.
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@misc{ Title = {NOVA: It's Elemental}, Publisher = {WGBH Educational Foundation}, Volume = {2022}, Number = {30 June 2022}, Month = {May 30, 2011}, Year = {2008} }
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%T NOVA: It's Elemental %D May 30, 2011 %I WGBH Educational Foundation %C Boston %U %O text/html

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NOVA: It's Elemental:

Same topic as WebElements Periodic Table

One of the most extensive interactive versions of the Periodic Table on the web. Choose a version for scientists or a simpler "Scholar Edition".

relation by Caroline Hall
Same topic as Periodic Table Live!

This interactive Periodic Table, sponsored by the Chemistry Education Digital Library, offers multiple tools to explore elements, their properties, reactions, structures, and histories. Contains multiple links to videos of reactions among common elements.

relation by Caroline Hall

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