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Lessons 3: Symbols Game

Objects, ideas, and relationships often have associated symbols. These symbols represent the "thing" using marks or words. Sometimes the symbol provides a shorter version of the thing, while other times the symbol is used to convey linkages between the things. Element symbols give scientists a faster way to identify elements instead of having to write out the full element name each time they refer to the element. Can you identify the common elements' symbols?

Doing the science

  1. Open the Periodic Table simulation.
  2. Select the "Symbols" button.

    Game Rules
    • You must use the keyboard or provided keypad to write the element symbol for each element.
    • The atomic weight, atomic number, and element name is provided.
    • One game consists of 10 rounds.
    • Each round lasts for about 30 seconds.
    • A score of 100 points is awarded for the correct element symbol.
    • The longer you take to correctly write the symbol, the fewer points awarded.

  3. Play this game 3 times. Record your score for each game in Table 1 below.
  4. To begin the game, select the "Start" button.

Do You Understand?

  1. Which element symbol(s) required the most thought on your part to correctly identify?


  2. Did you use any specific strategy for learning the symbols for each element? If so, what was your strategy?