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Elements Of Fun: The Periodic Table As A Board Game… And A Song
May 30, 2013
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Remembering all 118 elements on the periodic table is no game, as any high school chemistry student will tell you.

But there's no reason it couldn't become a game. That's the idea behind Elemensus, a new, Scrabble-like board game based on the periodic table.

As the pun-filled tagline says, it has "all the Elements of a great board game. Why not play it periodically?"

Instead of standard letter tiles, though, Emensus uses tiles that feature the short form for each element. But just like in Scrabble, players use the elements to spell words.

Lots of things can be spelled out using the elements, although finding enough to finish the game could be a pain (or Protactinium (Pa), Iodine (I) and Nitrogren (N)).

Luckily the game's designers have taken that into account. Since the element symbols can't spell every word, tiles are reversible, with useful letters that don't represent elements on the other side.

But if you use one of those non-elemental letters (which the game's designers refer to as Dark Matter, or "all that stuff that scientists are still looking for but haven't quite found yet"), you lose points.

There are 162 double-sided tiles in all. Each one shows the element's colour-coded Group classification, name, atomic number and abbreviation, so the more you play, the more likely it is those things will stick in your head.

And if the elements themselves don't satisfy all your science needs, the game also includes a taste of outer space: it's played on a board that features an image of the Orion nebula.


So that's one fun way to learn the periodic table. But there are other ways out there.

For instance: ASAP Science has created "The New Periodic Table Song (In Order)" to help people commit it to memory.

The tune's the "Galop Infernal" from Jacques Offenbach's opera "Orpheus in the Underworld" (you'll know it when you hear it).

It's got some clever and catchy lyrics (samples: "neon to light up the sign, sodium for salty times," and "the periodic table, noble gas is stable"), but listening to it enough times to memorize might be a little tiring. No offense, Offenbach.

Via CNET and Technabob


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