Vote Now! (Element Trading Cards)

This isn't one of those super-tech-integrative activities people swoon over- but it's one I enjoy (and if you just want to vote on the cards and not read this, scroll down to the bottom).

After going over the basics of the atom and the periodic table, each student selects a different element off the periodic table. When doing this with multiple classes I don't let any two students use the same element (I've never had over 117 students do this in the same semester).

There's often some grumbling they so-and-so couldn't get the element that sounds like their name (Samarium is picked by a significant number of students named Sam), and always the fun of having male knuckleheads always select Holmium, Thullium, and Platinum (Holmium's symbol = Ho; Thullium's atomic number = 69; Platinum for the bling, natch), but all in all they seem to enjoy getting their "own" element.

I used to do this project every year mainly to reinforce effective online search techniques, and didn't do it when I moved covering atoms and the periodic table later in the semester- after we'd already gone over effective internet research techniques. The project isn't super-rigorous on the science end. I give the students a list of information to find for their element, they find it and design the front and back of their cards. Half the grade for this assignment is in the design. I thought of making design worth less, but all this talk of visual literacy floating through the intertubes made me think it's worth that much. If they can't display the information so it's easy to find and read, then the information is worth less.

As a result, I always have had classes vote on the best designed cards from each class to earn a few bonus points for the winners. Typically I'll have my 3rd period vote on my 2nd period's cards and vice versa. This year I figured I'd up the ante a bit by using one of those fancy online polling sites for the vote and invite anyone who'd like to vote to do so. So, you're invited!

Each class has it's own poll, so feel free to vote in all three polls: The polls are now closed. :-)

  • First Block (this is the poll I posted to Twitter. If you've already voted you can skip it)
  • Second Block
  • Third Block

I used PollAuthority.com (as recommended by @Dsalvucci via Twitter), as it was the only site I could find where I could have images used as answers in the polls. I had a little trouble getting the poll to work properly the first time around, but overall the poll creation process was pretty easy. It turns out that once the poll is finished and saved you are unable to further edit the poll, which is what I was trying to do. Once I figured out that issue things went swimmingly.

Thanks for voting! I'll give an update this weekend or early next week when voting is completed.

UPDATE: I've closed the polls and tallied the result. I've posted the winners in a more recent post. In addition, here are the handouts I give to my students for this project: