Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Language of Science

There are a lot of terms that have one meaning in general use and another meaning in science. This article by Tia Ghose and LiveScience,  points out seven such words.

hypothesis         law      skeptic      

theory       natural      model   



are all mentioned.

Do you know how to use these words properly in science?  What about these words…

weight        heat         temperature  



A New Element Discovered?

If you take a closer look at the Periodic Table, you’ll notice down the bottom is two rows of elements that we don’t really discuss in science at school.  These are called the Lanthanide and Actinide series.  Some of these are naturally occurring like uranium which is used in nuclear power stations.  Others are so heavy, that they only exist momentarily in a laboratory.Elements Exhibition @ The Science Gallery

A laboratory at a university in Sweden is claiming to have discovered an element with an atomic number of 115.  This means that the atom would have 115 protons.  It hasn’t been named yet.  Any “new” element needs to be confirmed by the International Union of Applied and Pure Physics and Chemistry.

Elements have been named  in various ways:

  • After people connected to the element eg Einsteinium Es
  • After countries eg Francium Fr
  • After continents eg Americium Am
  • After gods or characters in mythology eg Mercury Hg
  • From Greek routes eg Hydrogen H (from hydro [Greek for water] and genes [Greek for creator])

Sometimes the symbol does not relate to the English word for the element.  For example, sodium has the symbol Na which comes from the Latin word for sodium which is natrium.

What would be your suggestions for a name and symbol for this new element and what would be your justification for the name?

Feel free to leave your suggestions as comments!

7B Homework for Wed 28th August

For tomorrow’s lesson, please make sure that you have completed the following questions in your notebook from our Rainbow Lab today.

  1. Were the combined volumes always what you expected and if not, why?
  2. What could you do to work more effectively in a team?
  3. Name 3 lab techniques or things that you learnt or were reminded of today.

I will check everyone’s notebook tomorrow so please have this completed.


IB Chemistry Syllabus

Know what you need to know

The IB Chemistry syllabus has  everything you need to know for your IB Chemistry exam.  You could download a copy of this document so that you can use it off-line too.

The program outline you have, refers to the syllabus.  Use it!


Tips for using the syllabus

  • Before each lesson, check on the program what syllabus points we are going to cover that day.  Have a read of that section of the topic in your study guide.  Even if you don’t understand the new material, if you have read about it previously, you will have a better chance of understanding it during the lesson.
  • After each lesson, check the detailed syllabus points you had in class that day and highlight or circle any that you don’t understand.  It is a fast moving course so it is important that you get help immediately with anything that you don’t understand.  The best place to start is with your peers in your class.  You can also try a Youtube video (there are many for almost any point in the syllabus) or you can even ask me!
Your syllabus is a powerful tool for studying effectively – USE IT!