Beyond the Elements: Reactions

Publish Date: Topic: Physics + MathPhysics & MathNova

As any viewer of NOVA’s "Beyond the Elements" series can tell, host David Pogue had a blast exploring the wonderful world of chemistry and bringing it to millions of PBS viewers. But why should David have all the fun? To give students a chance to investigate for themselves four of the world-shaping reactions featured in the series, we’ve created the “Beyond the Elements Reactions Interactive.”

Exploration of each reaction unfolds in three parts. First, players learn why the reaction matters and get an overview of how it works by watching video clips from "Beyond the Elements." That prepares them to play a series of three mini-games in which they must identify the reactants and products, balance the chemical equation, and assemble the molecular products. Finally, more video clips provide further context for the reaction students just mastered, including ways scientists are attempting to optimize its global impacts.

NOVA has also produced an educator guide to accompany the film and the Reactions Interactive with activities designed to spark students’ curiosity about chemistry and materials science. The educator guide provides teaching tips and activities to reinforce the concepts and stories explored in the "Beyond the Elements" documentary series and interactive. It's free and available in the "Beyond the Elements" collection of educational resources on PBS LearningMedia.

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