Did you know that 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements? No, neither did we until we found out about some talented students from Tannum Sands State High School.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Periodic System by Dmitry Mendeleev in 1869. A Periodic Table is a unique tool enabling scientists to predict the appearance and properties of matter on Earth and in the Universe.

To commemorate this, the University of Waterloo in Canada created a Timeline of Elements project whereby teachers around the world were asked to apply, on behalf of their class, to design a tile for an assigned element. With more than 200 applications from around the world, the university held a lottery to select the participating schools, taking into consideration any particular reasons that a school would like to secure a specific element. Tannum Sands State High School was able to secure Element 13 – Aluminum.

In December last year, TSSHS’s junior science classes designed a tile that depicted the discovery and history of Aluminum. The winning tile was created by Hannah Brooke, Lhea Hermosa and Sarah Leu. Their design has been included in the University of Waterloo’s Timeline of Elements poster, wall mural and has been featured on the website.

The completed Timeline of Elements project has brought together students from 118 schools in 28 countries. Each school has submitted an original tile telling the discovery story for their element, from hydrogen to oganesson.