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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Test Your Metal!

Quick - name fifteen metals!!

What did you come up with? You probably started with iron, gold, silver, aluminum, tin, lead, and/or copper; they're pretty easy. After thinking a little harder, you might come up with magnesium, titanium, chromium, nickel, zinc, platinum, and vanadium. That's still not fifteen! There are actually over 50 chemical elements that are metals. You may know some of them, even if you didn't come up with their names right away - cobalt, mercury palladium, cadmium, tungsten, iridium. Some metallic elements have familiar names - sodium, potassium, calcium, barium - but we rarely see them in metallic form. And there are some metals that are kind of rare and/or exotic, and you may have never heard of them - ruthenium, rhenium, yttrium, hafnium, bohrium, meitnerium. This month, we'll learn about some of the common and not so common metals in your world!

PS: Did you say "steel" for one of your metals? Steel is a combination of iron (mostly) and other elements, so it's not a pure metal by itself. We'll talk more about steel later.

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