Who invented the periodic table? Will we ever know is all the elements on earth have been found? What in the world is Livermorium? Why is the chemical symbol for lead Pb?
They're all questions that could be answered when University of Sydney Associate Professor Alice Motion lands at Orange High School next week to deliver an interactive roadshow on the weird and wonderful tales of the periodic table.
Although, OHS' head teacher of science Pete Shea did answer the last one as he explained how exciting Professor Motion's visit will be, she'll also help deliver a number of workshops to HSC students from around the region.
"Lead is actually my favourite element, it's really interesting, the symbol Pb comes from its original Latin definition - Plumbum," Mr Shea laughed.
"Thinking about way people traditionally used lead, in plumbing, it makes sense. I daresay Professor Motion will probably be a little bit more sophisticated when she's talking about the evolution and naming of elements though.
"It's a great opportunity for Orange High to host this kind of visit, because the workshops will be a great opportunity for kids to get access to activities and investigations that we don't have the equipment or facilities to do here.
"It will enhance the ability of those kids to get those higher-order skills and knowledge which should help them achieve higher marks in their HSC."
The workshops are part of the University of Sydney's Kickstart program and will be based on physics, chemistry and biology, with students from all over the Central West locked in.
They'll be hosted on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, with Professor Motion's interactive roadshow - titled 'The Al-Zr of the Periodic Table' - scheduled for Wednesday night.
That is a public event at Orange High's Performing Arts Centre and is open to anyone in the community who might be interested, it is limited to 100 people though and registration is essential.
"It's interactive, there's games and audience involvement, it's good fun and there's a focus on how the elements within the periodic table impact our everyday lives, in ways people may not even realise," University of Sydney public programs officer Cassandra Chester said.
"It's designed to help build a bit more interest in STEM-based subjects in a fun way. It's targeted at HSC level students and above, so adults, but it would also be appropriate for late primary school-aged students."
Anyone interested in the public event can register at periodictableorange.eventbrite.com.au. It's free, with doors opening at 5.30pm on Wednesday, May 5 for a 6pm start.
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