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Life-Changing Elements

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the periodic table we built a stand including a giant illuminated periodic table in order to highlight the role of different elements in create and sustain life. Their activities are summarised below:

  • Find the elements in your breakfast using a breakfast app and magnetic cornflakes experiments
  • How metals can cure cancer (with molecular models, a UV torch and a human body model and microscope)
  • Chemical composition of different cells (giant cells shapes that could be filled with smaller shapes representing different elements)
  • Find the elements in your body (with magnetic board displaying 2 human-size bodies and magnetic elements)
  • What do elements looks like? (with case containing real elements)
  • Write your name in chemical elements and take a picture!

Our stand was presented at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, where we interacted with approximately 5000 people, and at the British Science Festival.


Some lovely feedback received was

"I took my son to the summer science festival this afternoon. He’s 7 with Asperger syndrome and is absolutely obsessed with the periodic table. He had the best time and was totally in his element (pun intended!) and every single scientist he spoke to listened, respected and explained things to him. I was really touched by the lengths everyone went to chat with him. I’m sure by this afternoon everyone was pretty worn out but they still had energy for him.

Thanks so much for a wonderful time and we’re definitely coming back next year!


For anyone interested in exhibiting at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition, Cinzia has written a great post with tips and advice.