20 Apr 2012

The Periodic Table of Life

Five Slides About

Submitted by Kathy Franz, Duke University, Department of Chemistry

A little more than 5 slides, this is a video I made for a colleague to use in General Chemistry as an intro, or hook, into exciting topics in chemistry (in this case, bioinorganic).  I use these slides as an intro to my junior/senior Inorganic course on the first day of class, to ask the question "What is Inorganic Chemistry?" and get them to think about the "living" parts of "inorganic".  Topics include an overview of essential, toxic, and medicinally active elements of the periodic table, key examples of metalloprotein active sites, and an overview of the functional roles of biological inorganic elements.

Learning Goals: 

Learning goals from this lecture include:

1.  Students will think about what the term "inorganic chemistry" means.

2. Students will have an appreciation for the breadth of bioinorganic chemistry

3. Students will see how core principles of inorganic chemistry can be applied in a biological setting.  The list of Functional Roles of Biological Inorganic Elements can be tied to many principles professors typically cover in an inorganic (or even general chemistry) course (acid/base, redox, catalysis, energy storage, structure/function). 

Implementation Notes: 

The video can be downloaded for free from iTunes U.  Follow the link below, which will take you to the Duke University "Core Concepts in Chemistry" course (another great resource, by the way!).  "The Periodic Table and Life" video is listed as lecture #4.  Click on "view in iTunes" to get to the content.  You should be able to access the site on any device with iTunes (computer, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch).


Time Required: 
10 min
Evaluation Methods: 

Students could be asked to provide some of the information presented in the "learning goals" section above as part of an exam or in-class activity.

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence


I show this video to my students as part of the course introduction. Due to recent changes in iTunes U, the video is now locked in the iTunes U app, so students can't view it if they aren't using an iOS device. With Dr. Franz's permission, I've posted the video on You Tube at the link below:

You can also see how I'm using the video in my LibreTexts Course here.


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