Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Mole Day!!!

Yes, Happy Mole Day (as in chemistry)

In case you didn't take chemistry...or don't remember much from your chemistry class...a mole is the name for a number.  Kind of like a dozen is the name for 12, or a million is the name for 1,000,000.  One mole = 6.022x10^23 or 602,200,000,000,000,000,000,000.  Moles are used in chemistry because atoms are so very small that you can fit a HUGE number of them in relatively small volumes.  For instance a mole of water is 18 grams...or a little more than a tablespoon.  Anyway...since the really important part of the number is the 10^23 part, October 23rd or 10/23 is National Mole Day.  Today also marks the end of National Chemsitry Week.
And since we were a house of nerds to start out with and now Hubby is teaching chemistry (as well as other physical science classes) we celebrate such nerdy holidays.  Mole Day has always been a bit tricky though, because it doesn't automatically lend itself to the same sorts of celebrations as other nerdy say Pi Day (March 14) does to eating lots of pie.

I finally came up with a fun and appropriate way to commemorate the important event.  Periodic Table Cookies!  Hubby took them in for his students yesterday, since Mole Day this year falls on a Saturday...and no school.  Theses sugar cookies are approximate 2 1/4 inches on each side.  I rolled them out and cut them with a knife rather than cookie cutter.  Then I frosted them with the atomic number and chemical symbol for each element on the periodic duplicates of about half the periodic table so there would be enough for each student.  They're not quite as cute as the ones from this party that inspired my idea...but when you have to make them for six science classes, you cut a few corners.  Hubby said his kids enjoyed them.  I'm SO wishing, I'd thought of using graham crackers before making all those cookies.  We're already planning to make these for next year's students...but I think I'll be frosting graham crackers...and then I might have more energy to vary the colors up to distinguish between different families a bit more.  This time around, I just did green for the metals and greenish-blue for the non-metals. 
And you'll have to forgive me...I didn't realize until adding these pictures to this post that hydrogen never got placed in it's correct place above lithium.  Also, the whole periodic table wouldn't fit on one piece of wood, so it got split up.  The P-block elements were on a seperate piece...and the lanthanides and actinides didn't fit under the periodic table, so they got put in where ever there was extra space.  And if you have no idea what all that last part is about...all the better.  You won't notice any mistakes. 


  1. You do realize that you are awesome right!? So cool!

  2. These were delicious! So glad I got to celebrate Mole Day with your family.

  3. OMG i love these and so would my son..he has that table memorized....he loves chemistry and started the science club at his school. i am going to make these for him.

    thanks for sharing...

    Melissa from Naches, WA

  4. I love this periodic table! When I saw it it brought back the memories of me "trying" to teach my homeschooler the table. I hadn't been able to get her into a homeschool co-op group for science or chemistry for that semester (BIG MISTAKE), so tried to teach her this table thing which I never had even learned myself. She learned it ok. BUT BACKWORDS. So needless to say, I stuck with teaching what I do know, and she now knows the table backwards AND forwards. Thanks for sparking that little memory. xoxo

  5. This is awesome! I am an engineer and we celebrated mole day every year in college! This would have been perfect!

  6. I loved chemistry in school and I still remember most of the elements. This is such an awesome idea!!


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