Bergstresser’s alternative periodic table

Chemistry classes have always used Dmitri Mendeleev’s standard periodic table. However, Central chemistry teacher Matthew Bergstresser decided to change it up and use a new, alternative periodic table for his classes.

Bergstresser’s alternative periodic table consists of made-up elements. Bergstresser was the one who came up with this periodic table. When Bergstresser was making his periodic table, he said, “I made up names and made up atomic masses.” He created the table because “if you type in anything with a question on it—a test, a quiz, your homework—what is the mass of sodium or the molar mass of sodium hydride? Google will tell you instantly, but if you type in the alternate element name, it will not, so it’s to prevent cheating or to hinder cheating.”

Alternative periodic table Bergstresser uses

Sophomore Justin Davis, who’s in Bergstresser’s class and used the alternative table, says, “I think the alternative table is a good idea. It makes you actually think and learn the process instead of looking it up on the internet.”

Bergstresser’s room

The alternative periodic table is working with great success. Bergstresser says, “It made the chances of cheating less. I have used the periodic table for roughly about two years, and I don’t have any problems with it, but my students do.”

He says that these issues are that “[the students] think [the process is] different and that it somehow makes the class more difficult…[however] since you will do the chemistry the exact same as you would with the normal elements, it’s just to prevent people from looking up the answers.”

Overall, with the periodic table being different, students are held accountable for doing their own work without the help of Google. Future students of Bergstresser’s can look forward to using the alternate periodic table.

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