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ReActions January 2019

Though New Year’s Day is a memory, there is still plenty to celebrate, especially for science teachers. Start with the periodic table of the elements, which turns 150 years old this year. In fact, 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table; it launches January 29 with an opening ceremony in France. National Engineers Week (Eweek) will be held February 17-23. We’ve got more information about both celebrations as well as activities to use in your classroom. Finally, at ANS, we’re celebrating the debut of our new teacher workshop program, incorporating NGSS standards and our Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™ curriculum in an improved, flexible format. Read on, and let’s get the party started.

April 17, 2019 Volume 45
Featured Highlight
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This year marks the 150th anniversary of Dmitry Mendeleev’s discovery of the Periodic System and has been proclaimed the “International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements” (IYPT2019) by a consortium of organizations including the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which oversees naming of the elements, among other responsibilities. The IYPT2019 kicks off with an opening ceremony on January 29 in Paris. You can visit the IYPT2019 website to find events in your area, or to register your own events.
There are numerous ways to celebrate the periodic table. Here are a few:
• Play the Periodic Table song—the original was written by Tom Lehrer, but there is a more modern version by asapSCIENCE, and students may be especially interested to see Daniel Radcliff’s attempt.
• Download the latest version of the periodic table. You’ll find an up-to-date, downloadable periodic table—as well as other interesting versions—on the chemistry site, Compound Interest. And, bookmark, an interactive periodic table that is so comprehensive, you’ll want to watch the author’s demo video to make the most of the table’s features.
• Research some of the lesser-known scientists who have contributed to the periodic table. Nobel Prize-winning physicist and ANS founding member, Glenn T. Seaborg, is responsible for discovering the actinides—that series of elements broken out along the bottom of the table. Other scientists are still alive, including some who are ANS members.

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, Engineers Week (EWeek) is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing interest in engineering and technology careers. This year, consider bringing an engineer into your plans.
Many ANS members are engineers and a good number of them enjoy reaching out to help others understand and appreciate the work they do. These are some of the ways ANS members can help bring engineering to life for your students.

• Classroom visits. Hearing from someone who applies science and engineering practices to real-world problems every day shows students that they can use what they’re learning after they graduate.

• Digital visits. Some members are so interested in sharing their knowledge that they reach out in a number of ways. If you can’t connect with an engineer near you, think about a twitter chat or Skype session.

• Judging or mentoring design challenges. If you’ve already got a design challenge planned, think about inviting an engineer to judge the finals. Or, bring in an engineer to meet with student teams for help creating challenges.

• Career days. Many members make career days a tradition and participate at their local schools every year.
You can find ANS Local Sections and Professional Divisions on Or, contact us at for help in bringing engineering to life in your school.

If you’re in the Minneapolis area, we hope you’ll plan on attending ANS’s “Navigating Nuclear Science: Effective Teaching and Learning Strategies” workshop June 8 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. Participants will learn radiation basics, how nuclear reactors harness fission to produce electricity cleanly and safely, the latest in nuclear science and technology, and effective ways of teaching complex nuclear topics. The workshop will include NGSS-aligned lesson plans, including those from ANS’s newest education initiative, Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™. Registration will open mid-February. For more information, contact us at


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