My husband had for a long time wanted to make the periodic table more easily understandable, and got the idea that by working with the most common everyday used metals, we could actually touch the atoms.
We have had a few different versions of the periodic table on our wall for many years, but got a new more clear version given, so we decided to take the old ones down and put that clearer and larger one up in our living room.
That started a collection of little metal fragments, that the kids put up on the table by the correct metal.
Then my husbands holiday came, and we had the time to do a metal project. He made a specification sheet that they should fill out for every metal we worked with.
Monday we talked about iron. A metal easy to recognize and plentiful in our surroundings. He had made a iron coil earlier around an iron pole, so we got the chance to also do the Ørsted experiment again.
Tuesday we talked about gold. He told the story about the King who wanted to make sure the crown he had ordered was completely made of gold, and how Archimedes helped him solve that problem. We also looked at the stock exchange quotes for metals in the newspaper (Børsen).
Wednesday we talked about copper. Copper is widely used for wires used for electronics, so we had the chance to measure electric circuits on our Oscilloscope and our newly made Joule Thieves. After the lesson at home, we went to The Technical Museum in Elsinore and saw the original Ørsted Compas from 1820 (see photo). We also saw an Exhibition dealing with our extreme use of mobile phones today, which also take great use of copper and a large number of other metals.
Thursday we talked about aluminium. Many of our pots and pans were made of aluminium. Aluminium is very thermally conductive, so good when cooking food, to get a high heat quickly and to get back to a low heat quickly too.
Friday we went on a field trip to the local Metal Scrap Yard. We had made an appointment earlier with an employee there, who were kind enough to show us around on a guided trip.