When our babies are born, they come into a world of sight and sound that can be overwhelming. And what do we do? We speak in a language they don’t understand. We show them toys they can’t use. As they grow we put maps on their wall when they can’t understand the concept of Earth. And then a miracle happens. They begin to speak. They start making sentences, writing letters, learning words.
We should have the periodic table of elements on the wall as well. Everything on our planet is made of the items on the periodic table. It is a very basic tool.
But isn’t Chemistry hard? Sure it’s hard if it’s guarded like a secret and sprung on our children when they are teenagers. What if we taught no math to our children but then, in 6th grade, popped out with the square root table and told them we were now going to start math? We would find that most unusual but we do this very thing with science.
But if, like math, we presented the periodic table in a basic way exposing them to the next level each year, do you think chemistry would be intimidating to them? Just like learning math, they would know it, be fluent in its use and accept it as a normal part of life from which they could choose to continue their studies. Instead, America is falling behind in the Sciences, a shame for the country which leads the race to space.
So why is it not on the walls in kindergartens? Why is it not in children’s programming? Why isn’t it in children’s books? We can present it in bright, colorful and elementary ways, just like we do letters, colors, numbers and shapes. I believe it’s because many people fear chemistry. And I believe that fear is passed on to our children through our silence.
That’s why I developed a simple periodic table for children and a booklet for their parents and teachers. Teaching the table is easy. All it takes is placing one on the wall. You do not have to be a chemist to teach the periodic table just as you do not have to be Pythagoras to teach math. As a science teacher, I understand many people are not comfortable with the sciences so I wrote a booklet to give you the answers to the questions your children will probably ask you. I explain the periodic table in a way that is fearless and simple. I also provide lessons you can use to facilitate learning which will not interfere with your current and probably overwhelming schedule. For example, we can point to items on the table and show them copper when we have a penny. I hope you agree that placing a periodic table on the wall is a wonderful gift you can give your children. Our children are capable of learning basic chemistry at an early age. Let’s hope that our society changes its attitudes about Chemistry and our little folks. It’s my dream to see it happen!