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Test your chemistry IQ! Answer the following questions about elements and the periodic table.

1. Name that element! --

2. Venus's "metallic snow" is a mineral made of the mystery element and sulfur. A mineral is

A a compound with a full outer shell of electrons.

B a naturally-occurring solid with a uniform structure.

C an element that is a solid at room temperature.

D a gas formed when two elements share two electrons.

3. Which of the following elements has an atomic mass that's greater than the mystery element's?

A Bismuth (Bi)

B Gold (Au)

C Mercury (Hg)

D Carbon (C)

4. Which element is a transition metal?

A Neon (Ne)

B Magnesium (Mg)

C Iron (Fe)

D Carbon (C)

5. If an atom of gold (Au) were to lose two protons, it would have the same atomic number as

A Boron (B)

B Cesium (Cs)

C Silver (Ag)

D Iridium (Ir)

6. A valence electron

A is a negatively-charged particle in an atom's nucleus.

B equals the number of protons in an atom's nucleus.

C is a negatively-charged particle in an atom's outer shell.

D gives elements their atomic mass.

LIMITED LUSTER: In nature, the mystery element can react with oxygen in the air. That turns the soft metal's surface from brilliant to dull gray.


* Scientists think composer Ludwig van Beethoven was poisoned by lead. His hair contained lead levels that were 100 times greater than normal.

* The word "plumbing" comes from the Latin word for lead, or plumbum, which also gave lead its atomic symbol, Pb.

* Pencil "lead" is made of graphite, a form of carbon. But it's referred to as "lead," because when graphite was discovered, everyone thought it was a type of lead.


* Toxic lead has been banned as an ingredient in many common products, such as house paints. Even so, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that nearly 1 million U.S. children have elevated levels of lead in their blood. Discuss ways to guard a family against lead. For help, visit:


HEALTH: Research how lead enters the human body. Then, make an anatomical diagram highlighting the route of exposure. For an example, visit:


* Grolier search term: periodic table of elements

* Discover how to spot minerals, like galena, and play "Mineral Mastermind" at this Oxford University site:



NAME: --

DIRECTIONS: On a separate piece of paper, defend or dispute the following statements. (Hint: Defend means to explain why a statement is correct. Dispute means to explain why a statement is incorrect.)

1. Alchemists found a successful formula to turn lead into gold.

2. Lead is found only on Earth.

3. Lead is a safe ingredient in house paints.

4. Gasoline containing lead has been banned from gas pumps in the United States.

Name That Element!

1. Alchemists thought that by removing some of lead's protons, its atomic number would change into that of gold. But this formula did not work.

2. Lead isn't only found on Earth. Scientists believe that they have found it dusting the mountaintops on Venus.

3. Lead is not a safe ingredient in house paints. By 1978, scientists had discovered that lead is a neurotoxin. So other metals replaced lead in house paints.

4. Gasoline containing lead has been banned from U.S. gas pumps since 1996. That's because when tiny particles of lead are emitted from exhaust pipes, they pollute the environment, causing health problems.


1. Lead(Pb) 2. b 3. a 4. c 5. d 6. c
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Title Annotation:chemical elements
Publication:Science World
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 6, 2004
Previous Article:The periodic table.
Next Article:Stinging stunt.

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