elementary children in their elements

For the past couple of weeks the elementary children have been working on the periodic table and the elements – and for their part, the erdkinder have been ‘owning’ a few elements each and have been digging out some interesting stuff – apart from understanding the rationale of the arrangementt in terms of orbitals – s-p-d-f , valance, the works.

So, Rama thought it would be a good idea to conduct a quiz (with a slide projector and a powerpoint slide deck to boot) –  for a subset of the elementary students – and so it was. Today was the Q day and I could see some uncalled-for tension in the faces of a few children right from the morning; apparently there were some rumours flying all over about a certain bearded guy, who shall remain nameless, who is going to be the science QuizMaster from hell. I also got curious about this chap and was wondering who this gent would be, with much trepidation.

Luckily for that guy and the children, the quiz was conducted by young Rama who divided the elementary class into to groups and conquered, being a  divide et empress – sorry about this laboured pun, but then – don’t you know that the quiz master’s decision is final and…

It went off like any other typical quiz, excited chatter, guffaws of laughter, hushed silence, squandered opportunities, random guesses resulting in wins, real knowledge, ‘others getting easy questions’, mirth, sorrow, relief  and what not. On the whole, the children and quiz master and the scorer(who was quite Mercyless)  enjoyed it – lots of ruckus, ayyo-din and all that. Luckily there were no accusations of the QM being on the take!

The erdkinder made some useful contributions by blurting out the answers only a few times and by injecting constant backchatter – and generally lobbying for negative marks (for the tense participating teams, that is) and much else. Thanks erdkinder, where will we be without you…

All in all, it was elementary, Mr Mendeleev. What else!

I think in the days to come, there shall be more such quizzes and we are all looking forward (and backward) towards having more fun and learning.

One question: How come the periodic table of elements is called a periodic table in spite of the fact that there are more groups (some 18 of them) than periods (only 7 in number) in this table – shouldn’t it be fondly called a Groupiodic table? Any guesses? Or would you want the QM’s decision to be ‘final’ again?

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