09018 newscripts ceilingcxd e1336312063916 Ceiling Periodic Table

Photo: Allie Knight

Decorating the ceiling with a periodic table is a popular high school science activity, and when Scott Byrum noticed that the acoustic tiles in his newly-renovated teaching lab were square, he saw a golden opportunity. Or, if you like, a palladium one.

Byrum, a chemistry teacher at North Sand Mountain High School in Higden, AL, says:

“I’m having to compete with all the Xboxes and the Nintendos, so I have to keep my sword sharp. Unless I can keep my classroom hopping and keep it exciting, I will lose the students in a matter of moments. This periodic table on the ceiling almost engages their minds visually like a game.”

The letters are vinyl, cut by a local company, and are color-coded based on each element’s state at standard temperature and pressure. There’s another picture at Jackson County’s The Daily Sentinel.

Periodic Table Ceiling | April 30, 2012 Issue – Vol. 90 Issue 18 | Chemical & Engineering News

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


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