Four new tile designs for the Periodic Table Project were announced this fall as winners of the New Elements Contest organized Chem 13 News magazine, the Waterloo's Chemistry outreach magazine for chemistry educators.
“It is wonderful to see how high school chemistry students can incorporate art with science together,” says Jean Hein, Editor-in-Chief of Chem13 News. “I believe students really enjoyed being part of this collaborative project.”
The tiles represent the four newest elements named by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) in 2016. Nihonium (Nh, atomic number 113), Moscovium (Mc, atomic number 115), Tennessine (Ts, atomic number 117), and Oganesson (Og, atomic number 118) are all synthetic chemical elements, meaning they were made in the lab and do not appear in nature.
"The newly-named elements are more 'synthesized' than discovered," says Hein. "The challenge is not just making these elements but finding evidence of their brief existence."
The winning tiles were selected by popular vote from more than 200 submissions from across Canada as well as the United States over the past six months. Over 3,000 online votes decided on the final four elements.
The four winning tiles will be added to the Periodic Table Project wall mural this January. The new elements have already been added to the Periodic Table Project wall poster and the mobile app, which now has more than 50,000 users.
The original Periodic Table Project, completed in 2011 in honour of the International Year of Chemistry, involved high students and enthusiasts from all the Canadian provinces and territories, 20 U.S. states and 14 countries. Each team researched, created and designed a custom piece of art for all of the elements in the periodic table at the time, from Hydrogen to Livermorium.
The final result, a colourful and iconic mural, was installed in 2012 by 3M Canada in the lobby of the Centre for Environmental Innovation and Technology (EIT) at the heart of Waterloo’s campus.
To learn more about the contest winners, their designs and the elements themselves, click the tile images below.