A new dimension for the periodic table

ANSTO has produced periodic table posters that can come alive with the ANSTO XR augmented reality app.

Available for classrooms around Australia for free, the table contains information that can be accessed via a scan on a iOS or Android operating system.

The program is designed to make STEM subjects engaging and exciting for the next generation, according the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews.

“It’s so important that we get as many children as possible studying these subjects, because so many of the jobs of the future will require the skills,” said Andrews.

While ANSTO is known for its nuclear research for scientific, medical, and advanced material outcomes, the organisation is also using virtual reality and augmented reality apps to encourage younger students to take an interest in science from an early age.

“This app is set to change Australia’s science classrooms as we know them. It has the potential to foster an early interest in science that could lead to more students choosing STEM subjects at university,” said CEO of ANSTO, Dr Adi Paterson.

“Every single ANSTO periodic table, in every science classroom in Australia can from today be used to activate the augmented reality app, which is free to download.”

During National Science Week, the table was launched at local schools, close to ANSTO’s facility at Lucas Heights, in southern Sydney. For Year 9 student Elena Mbeya, the app confirmed her passion for STEM.

“When I grow up, I would love to be a material science engineer, so I really enjoyed using this app. It’s definitely a great way to make science more fun and engaging,” said Mbeya.

While period tables have been a long-time staple of science classrooms, the interest in this teaching tool has been reinvigorated this year, with it being the UNESCO International Year of the periodic table. The recently launched app is hoped to continue to utilise the knowledge contained in the table to encourage participation in science.