You are here

2019 International Year of the Periodic Table Timeline of Elements

Timeline of the elements conceptual design

YES! We are doing another collaborative project in honour of the 2019 International Year of the Periodic Table!

January 2019 Update

This month we start to celebrate the 2019 International Year of the Periodic Table of Elements. We hope that those who are designing elements for the Timeline of Elements project have already started! Below is a map of the schools participating from around the world — a total of 26 different countries.

If you did not get an element, please consider having your students design a Mendeleev portrait. We will be assembling the Mendeleev Mosaic and displaying it along side the Timeline of Elements. We would love to see even more unique submissions from around the world. The map below indicates by atomic number where the elemental tiles are being designed.

Map of participating schools for UWaterloo's 2019 Timeline of the Elements Project

Why 2019?

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019). The goal “in proclaiming an International Year focusing on the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how chemistry promotes sustainable development and provides solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health.” This year coincides with the 150th anniversary of Dmitry Mendeleev’s published periodic table in 1869.

Why a timeline? 

Chem 13 News readers will remember our 2011 Periodic Table Project, which produced a wall mural, free mobile app and classroom posters. To celebrate the Year of the Periodic Table we decided to take a different approach to the table and deconstruct it into the years the elements were discovered. Our goal is to have chemistry students from around the world join together to create an original and imaginative version of the Timeline of Elements focused on their discovery. 

Here is how it will work

Teachers were asked to apply on behalf of their class to design a tile for one assigned element. With more than 200 applications from over 26 countries, we held a lottery, taking into consideration special reasons if a school would like a particular element.  

As mentioned above, all 118 elements have been assigned to 26 countries from around the world.

It is now up to teachers to determine how their class will design their tile for that assigned element. It can be a contest, a bonus project or part of your study of the elements. Whichever approach is taken, the project should highlight the creative talent of young people in chemistry. 

The deadline for submitting final tiles is March 1, 2019.

We hope to make a classroom poster for Chem 13 News readers and a public website for this project with a special wall mural in the new Science Teaching Complex at the University of Waterloo. We already have a wall picked out. 

What images can be used on each tile?

The artwork and image chosen for each element can be obvious (such as discoverer, location or experiment) or subtle in connection. Our hope is to focus on some aspect of the discovery of the element but we do not want to limit students’ creativity. Students are encouraged to look for less obvious images and connections. Keep it interesting. Please include an explanation of the process used to create the tile, and some background notes explaining how your class made connections between the elements and the images created. Please do not use copyrighted images. Original work only. The medium is up to your students.

Celebrate with us

Teachers are encouraged to make their own classroom timeline or periodic table to celebrate 2019. If you do, please send us photos as we would love to post them on our website celebrating the International Year of the Periodic Table. How wonderful would it be to have a collection of student-made periodic tables from around the world to complement our Timeline of Elements?    

Early submissions may be featured in upcoming issues of Chem 13 News magazine and on our Twitter account @Chem13News. Follow our progress on Twitter: #TimelineofElements.

More questions? E-mail Jean Hein, Editor of Chem 13 News magazine.