Friday, March 18, 2016
Not on the List
8th grade science. (No, not that class.) They were making "Wanted" posters for atoms. (Cute assignment, really, but a bit too involved to go into explaining.)
Each student was to be assigned an atom. The teacher had helpfully provided a page that was easily cut into small strips of paper, so each student could draw an atom rather than having me assign one. A lottery, as it were.
Knowing their usual tricks, I explained they'd get to pick their atom, but there were no redraws. Because if I allowed that, we'd spend the entire period with them trying to pick a "good one".
Students who ended up with larger atoms were not pleased with this. (They had to draw out the diagram, so the students who got stuck with iodine had to draw out 53 protons, 53 electrons, and 73 neutrons.) Although, I made one girl happy when she picked arsenic. I informed her it was a poison. She was quite content with that atom after learning that.
Several had turned in their posters. One boy put his in the pile, but something about it caught my eye. He had helium.
Funny, helium wasn't on the list...
(The smallest atom on the list was carbon.)
I asked the boy about it. He admitted that he had lost his slip and had forgotten what atom he had.
Um, okay... Well, he could draw another from the left over slips I had.
I suppose I should be grateful he didn't try to get away with hydrogen. I wish I could tell you which atom he then drew, but I don't recall. It wasn't one of the bigger ones, though.