Periodic Table of Videos: Each Element Explained


The Periodic Table of Videos is a series of videos created by the University of Nottingham. Featuring all 118 elements, most videos focus on Professor Martyn Poliakoff explaining properties of individual elements, and then conducting experiments on the element. The videos, now quite popular on YouTube, are an attempt to bring chemistry and science to a wide audience through the use of the internet. Although some of the experiments featured on the series are quite dangerous, the videos take adequate precautions and express to the audience the need to take scientific precautions and keep with safety measures. Due to the popularity of the videos, Professor Poliakoff has also begun posting video responses to student questions, and is beginning work on more elements.

For information about rating scales, click here

Resource Overall Poor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Excellent
Student Response  Negatively ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Positively
Repeatability  Unlikely ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ Highly Likely
Ease of Use  Difficult ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Easy
Set-Up Time  Short ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ Lengthy
Tech Skills  Basic ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ Expert


Myron Schwartz
Berne, Indiana

During the unit on the periodic table in chemistry, I used this website as a resource for the students to research various topics of the periodic table including properties of elements.

The students really enjoyed the video interface rather than just reading about the elements. It was a change of pace from the way the periodic table of elements is normally presented in classroom settings.

Julie Gilbert

I created an assignment that required students to watch five of the videos from the Group I elements. Then, students had to write a reaction paragraph as well as analyze what the trend is for reactivity going down the group.

Students generally enjoyed the videos and several said they were open to doing something like this again.

A few had problems loading the videos, but that could be due to individual computer connection issues. It took my computer a good ten minutes to load each video. I just waited it out by grading, but I can see where this could be a frustration.


  • It is a good idea to review the videos you plan to use since they don’t all cover the same type of information.
  • Students could be assigned the elements in pairs or individually and be asked to report to the class at a later date.
  • Students could analyze the safety measures the scientists took for several videos.
  • You could even have students create their own informational videos explaining their research on an element. Stay away from the more dangerous experiments when presenting this type of activity, however.
  • Please let your students know that the video load times depend on your computer and internet connection speeds, so keep that in mind before attempting a lengthy project at the last second.

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