Not Commonly Known Uses of Elements

Where do you see chemistry? It’s all around us! Elements are the building blocks of all things along with the compounds they form. Learn about some of the less commonly known uses of elements.

  • Science Lab III—Emission Spectroscopy
    Concoct your own Fourth of July sparkler with a mix of several metal elements.
  • Green Eggs Solubility Activity
    Cook up some green eggs and ham… or not. Two elements combine to form an unpleasant green coating on yolks of hard-boiled eggs. How can it be avoided?
  • Colorful Iodine
    Is it a lawn ornament? Is it a thermometer? Is it iodine? It’s all three!
  • Determining Iodide Content of Salt
    The label says your salt is “iodized.” Head to the kitchen to try an easy procedure to test your salt for this micronutrient.
  • Periodic Table Ceiling
    Perhaps the least known use of the elements on the periodic table—decorations for your classroom’s ceiling tiles.
  • Instant Hot Air Balloon
    Two elements come together to make one fun project. Create your own mini hot air balloon using a helium-filled aluminized Mylar balloon and foam cup.
  • Wood's Metal
    See if you can figure out why this alloy of four elements is the perfect choice for automatic fire sprinkler systems.
  • In Which I Play with White Phosphorus
    Watch as “one of the nastiest substances on Earth creates a beautiful glow.”

(all sites accessed April 2013)