You and your friends have been magically transported inside an 18 room castle built by the famous chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.  Each room is entirely made from one of the elements of the first three rows of the periodic table.  No element is repeated.  Each element will appear in the state (solid, liquid, or gas) it retains at room temperature.

You do not know where in the castle you have been transported.  A holographic image of Mendeleev will accompany you on your journey, giving you clues to help you determine which room you are in.  Each time you identify the element a room is made of, you will be transported to another room.  Once you travel through all of the rooms, you will find your way out of Castle Mendeleev.
  You and your friends have suddenly materialized into a room made entirely of a shiny metallic solid.  A wooden door is set into one wall.  A shimmering holograph appears before you.  It is an old man with long brown hair and a full beard streaked with gray hairs.  Wearing a full nineteenth-century topcoat, it is Dmitri Mendeleev himself.  In a crisp, intelligent voice, the scientist says, "This room has been constructed of a strong, lightweight, corrosion-resistant metal composed of atoms containing 3 valence electrons and 13 protons.  It is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust."  What element is this room make of?  Carve its symbol into the wooden door to escape to the next room.

2.)  The next room you find yourselves in is made of a clear, life-giving gas.  Suddenly, Mendeleev appears again saying, "This element is a nonmetal, diatomic gas that comprises about 20 % of normal air.  It combines with most other elements to form oxides."  What symbol will you carve into the door of this room?

3.)  Next, you and your friends are transported to a room made from a green-yellow gas which immediately begins to burn your nostrils and your throat.  You reach into your packs for gas masks to protect yourselves from these noxious fumes.  For the third time, a holograph of Mendeleev speaks to you through the shifting gas.  "This diatomic gas is a halogen."  What element surrounds you?

4.)  In the next room you find yourselves surrounded by bright yellow crystals.  As you remove the gas masks, the old chemist, tinted yellow by light reflecting off the crystals, appears yet again.  "The atoms of this element have 6 valence electrons."  Carve the symbol of the correct element in the room's door.

5.)  You are now in a room made of a clear gas - located in one of the towers of the Castle Mendeleev.  Trying to talk to your friends, your voice sounds high-pitched and squeaky, like Mickey Mouse.  The holograph tells you, "The atoms of this element are also molecules."  What element is this room made of?

6.)  The sixth room you are transported to, on the second floor of the building, is made of a silver-gray metallic solid.  Taking a knife out of your backpack, you are able to cut a piece of it off with the blade because the substance is very soft.  A portion of the element touches your hand, burning your skin.  Filling a small glass beaker with water from your canteen, you drop the substance in to observe its reaction with water.  It momentarily floats on the water before causing a small explosion.  What element is this?

7.)  Next you are transported to a room with bright, white waxy walls.  When you turn off the lights, the entire room glows in the dark!  The holograph tells you, "This element occurs in teeth and bones as calcium phosphate."  What element is this room comprised of?

8.)  You are now in a room made of a shiny, silver metal.  The image of Mendeleev reappears to say, "This element appears here in its pure form.  If combined with traces of other elements, its becomes a semiconductor that is used in circuits of electronic devices such as calculators.  It and oxygen are the two elements that make sand but not diamonds."  What element is he speaking of?

9.)  The ninth room is composed of a gas that has no color, taste, or odor.  A transparent image of the chemist tells you, "An atom of this element has 2 electrons in its first energy level and 5 electrons in its second energy level.  This element makes up approximately 80 % of normal air and can be used to make laughing gas."  What is the element?

10.)  The next room you are transported to is made of a soft white material.  The nineteenth-century chemist states, "The atoms of this element have a low electron affinity and will replace hydrogen atoms when placed into water.  This room is on the second floor of my castle."  Which element is this?

11.)  Next, you are transported to a room in the corner of the Castle Mendeleev.  The room is made of a thick, inert gas.  Mendeleev flickers into view to tell you, "This element is used to fill light bulbs.  The atoms of this element have 8 electrons in their third energy level."  Carve the correct symbol into the door.

12.)  After escaping from room eleven, you materialize into a room made of a solid substance.  Mendeleev's image appears in front of you and says, "This element is the basic unit for all living things.  Without it, jewelers would go broke, gas stations would go out of business, and every breath you exhale would be incomplete.  The element has two isotopes, one has 6 neutrons and the other has 8 neutrons."  What element is this room constructed of?

13.)  The next room you enter is filled with an inert gas.  Mendeleev appears, telling you, "This gas emits a brilliant orange-red light when contained in a discharge tube.  Las Vegas wouldn't be the same without this element."  What is the element?

14.)  This room is made of a light gray metal.  Again the image of Mendeleev speaks, "This element is so strong, hard, and elastic that it is used to reinforce other metals.  Its melting point is nearly 1300 oC."  What element is this room made of?

15.)  The next room is made of a hard, black, shiny material, and then suddenly it changes to a brown powder.  The holograph of the chemist tells you the atoms of this element have 2 energy levels, and it conducts electricity and heat very poorly.  But, because it readily absorbs neutrons, it is used in control rods for nuclear reactors.  What element built these walls?

16.)  The sixteenth room you enter is made of a green-yellow gas.  The image tells you, "The atoms of this element have a high electron affinity.  When one combines it with sodium, it can help reduce tooth decay.  It also reacts with hydrocarbons to form Teflon and Freon."  What element is he speaking of?

17.)  Next you have been transported to a room on the first floor of the Castle Mendeleev, that is made of a white solid.  The holograph of Dmitri Mendeleev reappears, shifting before you like a milky ghost, speaking to you once more.  "This element is widely used in aerospace industries in alloys with other metals.  It burns brilliantly in air.  The atoms of this element form positive ions.  One of its atoms will combine with one oxygen atom to form a compound."  The walls of this room are comprised of what element?

18.)  You finally find yourself in the second tower of Castle Mendeleev.  The room is made of a transparent gas.  This element is the simplest and lightest of all the elements.  It is the most abundant element in the universe.  What element is it?

Upon carving the correct symbol into the final door, you and your friends are transported to a large dining hall.  The holographic image of Dmitri Mendeleev, who has accompanied you throughout your journey, stands at the end of a long table set for dinner.  Speaking to your group for the last time, he says, "Congratulations adventurers.  Come, have a seat and drink to your victory with a toast of complex carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen compounds dissolved into a liquid compound of hydrogen and oxygen."  Don't worry, it's just lemonade.


The present organization of the elements is a product of the first periodic table published by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869.  Today, the periodic law states that the properties of the elements are periodic functions of their atomic numbers.  Each of the elements has its own set of characteristic properties.  These range from solid to gas, lustrous to dull, low to high melting points, various colors, and so on.  The elements are arranged into groups or families and periods or series based on these properties.  This arrangement reflects the periodic or repeating nature of the properties of the elements.

In this exercise, you will use your knowledge of periodic properties and a list of clues to arrange the main group (representative) elements into a periodic table.  Use the clues below to arrange the letters A - Z into their appropriate positions in the grid of the periodic table provided.  (Please note that the letters A - Z in no way correspond to the real symbols for these elements.)

The following elements belong together in groups (not necessarily in this order):
    BFT        DGLZ        JNV        CMS        QXY        AEO        IPH        UKWR

Use the following clues to determine which group each set of elements belongs to:
~ G is a noble gas.
~ U is an alkali metal.
~ E has 5 electrons in its outermost energy level.
~ N has 2 valence electrons.
~ T has an outer electron configuration of 4s2 4p1.
~ Q is a halogen.
~ C has a valence electron configuration of 2s2 2p4.

Use these clues to determine where each element is placed within each group.
~ W is a gas at room temperature.
~ F has the smallest atomic mass in its group.
~ P has the lowest ionization energy in its family.
~ Atoms of Z has a total of 2 electrons.
~ Atoms of D contain 10 protons.
~ The electrons of atom G are distributed over three energy levels.
~ H is the least metallic element in its group.
~ The atomic mass of V is less than that of J, but more than that of N.
~ J has a lower ionization energy than V, but a higher ionization energy than K.
~ The atomic number of R is one greater than that of Z.
~ Y is a liquid at room temperature.
~ The atomic radius of M is greater than that of S.
~ A is more metallic than either O or E.
~ Atoms of K are larger than those of U.
~ T is more metallic than B.
~ X has an atomic number that is one less than that of G.
~ E is a gas at room temperature.






      1                                                                                                                                                 18







                             2                                         13               14            15                16           17                   






















  has 4 valence electrons and the largest mass in its group
2.  its electron configuration ends with 3p4
3.  exception to electron configuration rule because of the stability of a filled 3d sublevel
4.  1 mole of this element has a mass of 39.10 grams
5.  noble gas (with 8 valence electrons) with the lowest atomic number
6.  only gas in Group 15
7.  exception to electron configuration rule because of the stability of a half-filled 3d sublevel
8.  heaviest non-radioactive noble gas
9.  has 76 protons
10.  alkali metal that has its valence electron in the 5th energy level
11.  halogen whose ion has the same electron configuration as argon
12.  named after a very famous scientist and has an atomic number of 99
13.  lightest metalloid in Group 14
14.  6.022 x 1023 atoms of this element have a mass of 24.3 grams
15.  non-radioactive halogen with highest atomic number
16.  only noble gas without 8 valence electrons
17.  Lanthanide Series named after this element
18.  noble gas with its valence electrons in the 4th energy level
19.  known to be a poison;  will gain 3 electrons to become stable
20.  "coinage metal" with 2nd largest atomic radius
21.  5th period, Group 4
  used in jewelry;  6th period, Group 10
23.  lightest solid metal
24.  has the highest atomic number of all elements that do not have any occupied "f" orbitals
25.  basis for organic chemistry;  only true nonmetal in Group 14
26.  radioactive element in Group 18
27.  used in light bulb filaments;  end of its electron configuration should be 5d4
28.  radioactive element that has 94 electrons when it is a neutral atom
29.  2nd lowest ionization energy in Group 15
  largest atomic radius in Group 1;  non-radioactive
31.  its symbol is Mo
32.  location of this metal would lead us to believe that it is a metalloid

  its last electron is the first electron occupying the 4p sublevel
2.  only gas in Group 1
3.  has 63 protons;  named after a continent
4.  most electronegative element
5.  lowest ionization energy of all alkaline earth elements
6.  its symbol is Nd
7.  Actinide Series element that is named after the scientist who arranged Periodic Table by atomic mass
  10 moles of this element would have a mass of 876.2 grams
9.  its electron configuration ends with 3d10
10.  only liquid metal
11.  transition element with only 1 completely filled 3d orbital
12.  makes up 21% of Earth's atmosphere;  vital for human life
13.  solid Group 15 element with the highest electron affinity
14.  mass of 2 atoms of this element is 117.9 amu
15.  most common Actinide Series element
16.  Group 16 element whose ion has the same electron configuration as krypton
  has 2 electrons in its 4s orbital and 1 electron in each 3d orbital
18.  has 77 protons
19.  Group 15 element with the lowest electronegativity
  only liquid nonmetal
21.  alkaline earth metal needed for strong bones and teeth
22.  Group 17 element with the lowest electron affinity
  18 grams of this element contains the same number of atoms as 24 grams of carbon
24.  same name as an American coin
25.  heaviest noble gas that does not have any electrons in ANY "d" orbital
26.  lightest metalloid
27.  2nd largest atomic radius in Group 14
  heaviest "coinage metal"
29.  0.5 moles of this element have a mass of 56.2 grams
30.  Group 1 element that is a part of common table salt

   1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         3                             4



                                                                                                                                 2                                        5                        6



                                                                                                                                       9                                                  3

                                7                                                                                         4                                 8                             10


               5                                                   6       11                                                                           12                                                    7                                                                                                  


                                            15              9       16                                17                                                                     10                       18

   13                        11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    19             20

               14                                                                                     12


                          13                                                                                                                         21              14      22                   


   16                                                                                                                                                             17                                               24                                18



   20                                                                                      21



                                                                                                                                                   29                                       30

                                             25                       26                             27                      28                                                    29



               24                                                              26                                             28                                                                             30


                     31                                                                                                                                                      32


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