By Matthew Sabongi
I studied biochemistry as an undergraduate. During my many hours of studying conversions, mechanisms, and chemical structures, I always tried to visualize and contextualize what I was learning. For instance, the periodic table of elements. Studying trends and physical properties of alkaline earth metals, noble gases and halogens, I imagined what it was like to see and feel these elements with my own eyes and hands. The Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota has made this possible!
In Kolthoff Hall on the East Bank of the Minneapolis campus, there is a huge display of the periodic table with compartments containing each of the elements. Neon lights representing the noble gases and solids for many of the metals, you can see and actually touch many of the elements that make up our natural world. If you're like me and like to visualize what you're learning about, check out this great display on campus!