Element Project

A WebQuest for High School Chemistry

Designed by

Charlotte M. Trout
mailto: troutcha@wcboe.k12.md.us

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits


By now, you have learned about the structure of the atom and understand something about the location of electrons within the electron cloud around the nucleus.  You know that an element is composed of a single type of element.  So how many elements are there?  How do chemists keep them all straight?  What makes one element different from another?  Are any elements identical in their behavior and properties?

To begin to answer these questions, you'll investigate one atom thoroughly and share that information with your classmates.

The Task

You will use the internet and any other resources to research some properties of an element assigned to you. You will:

The Process

To accomplish the task, you will need to follow several steps:

  1. An element will be assigned to you  or you will choose an element from a list.
  2. Use the web sites, print materials in the classroom and the media center, or your textbook to complete the research guide sheet. You should check at least two different web sites or be sure that the web site you are using is supported by a trustworthy agency before writing that information down.  You should keep a list of all resources use (a bibliography) and note which site was used for each piece of information.
  3. Prepare a poster, mobile, web page or multimedia presentation which displays the following information about your element.
    • Name of the element
    • Symbol and its origin
    • Discovery Date and who discovered it
    • Atomic number and weight
    • Electron configuration
    • Boiling point and melting point
    • Standard state of the element
    • Some useful or everyday products which are made from this element
  4. Enter the following data into an electronic database or onto a card:
    • Atomic number
    • Atomic weight
    • Melting Point
    • Boiling Point
    • Standard State of the element
    • Electron configuration
    • Common oxidation number(s)
    • Common oxide formula(s)
    • Common chloride formula(s)
    • Acid/base behavior of oxide
Periodic Table Web Sites - Good for Information about the Elements

Most of these sites allow you to click on the element symbol shown within a periodic table and that will open a page (or more) of information about the element.

About Chemistry.com

ACS Periodic Table

ChemCollective Periodic Table

Chemical Elements.com

Chemicool Periodic Table

Environmental Chemistry.com

Jefferson Lab Periodic Table of the Elements

Lenntech Periodic Table of the Elements- Health and Environmental Effects

Los Alamos National Laboratory Periodic Table

Physics 2000 Periodic Table - There is a lot of cool stuff here but you need to look around

Science Park Periodic Table

ThinkQuest Periodic Table

University of British Columbia Periodic Table

Visual Elements Periodic Table

WebElements Periodic Table

World of Molecules Periodic Table


Each student will be graded individually using the following criteria.  Though a four point scale is used to evaluate each product, the actual score assigned to each may be a multiple of 4.  Notice that for the database entry, it is either done or not (grade of 0).








Research Guide Sheet


Guide sheet is less than 60% complete.
Guide sheet is missing a few pieces of information.
Guide sheet is complete.
Guide sheet is complete and sections for discovery, products and/or concerns show extra work..


Bibliography incomplete and/or most items are not annotated.
Some facts are not annotated and/or some references in the bibliography are poorly cited.
Every fact on the guide sheet is annotated and bibliography is complete and all references are properly cited.
Every fact  on research sheet is annotated and bibliography is complete and all references are properly cited.  Facts which are not as widely available have multiple annotations and/or evaluation of sources.
Completeness and Accuracy of Presentation


Presentation is inaccurate and/or more than 40% of the requested information is missing.
Presentation is accurate but some information is missing.
Presentation is complete and accurate.
Presentation is not only complete and accurate but includes multiple examples of products or uses.
Creativity or Attractiveness of Presentation 
Use of color, poor printing and/or use of media detracts from the  presentation .
 Presentation is visually adequate.
Presentation is visually appealing.
Presentation is very attractive and creative.
Data Base Entry is Complete
Database entry is complete.


Now you know a lot of information about one element.  In the next step, you will begin to look at a large number of these elements and see how scientists organize all this information.  You will begin with the elements you and your classmates have researched.  You will also determine which part of the atoms structure is responsible for most of these properties.

Credits & References

The image of the periodic table at the top of the page was drawn by the web page author.

Last updated 10/18/08. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page