Make A Video Using The Periodic Table

You can teach people about the elements by shooting a video.

If you are interested in informing people about the building blocks of matter, you might want to make a video that uses the periodic table of elements. You might find that your viewers will be more engaged with the information if they watch a video instead of reading about the elements in a book. Factors to consider include your budget, your intended audience, and whether you want to provide details on each of the more than 100 elements, or just provide an overview.


1. Identify your audience. Do you want to make a video about the periodic table for young children, high school students, college students or the general public? Knowing your audience will help you determine how much detail to use, and the length of the video, as children may have a shorter attention span than older people.

2. Calculate your budget. Once you know how much money is available, you can figure out whether you can purchase or rent a camera, or if you can make do with a borrowed camera. You’ll also know how much video you can record, whether you are recording onto tapes or onto a hard drive or flash storage of a digital video camera. If you can only shoot 10 hours of footage, for example, you may decide that you can assume that you’ll shoot at a 50-50 ratio, allowing for five hours of good takes and five hours of bad takes, technical mistakes and environmental problems while shooting.

3. Write a script about the periodic table based on your target audience, accounting for length of the video you want to make. A good rule of thumb is to assume one minute per page of a script. The periodic table lists 118 elements, of which elements 113 through 118 do not yet have official names, according to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. If you want to cover every single element in the periodic table, you could make a two-hour video, spending about one minute on each element. Instead, you might decide to only cover sections of the table, and provide summary information or describe only well-known elements in detail, such as carbon and helium.

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4. Obtain pictures of various elements that you want to cover, if you want to show their images in the video during narration. If you intend to use props in your video, obtain samples of various elements, such as copper, neon and zinc.

5. Hire actors and a narrator, or recruit volunteers if you want to have people presenting information about the periodic table in your video, or asking questions as students. You could also rely solely on narration and images from pictures or footage that you shoot of sample elements.

6. Mark up the script to identify scenes that appear in the same location, even if they are separated by many pages. Draw up a plan to shoot all the scenes taking place in one location on the same day or days. You will edit the scenes together later with a computer. Breaking up the script into different locations increases efficiency, instead of shooting in a classroom for two hours, for example, then going to a factory for two hours, and then going back to the classroom two days later to shoot 10 more seconds.

7. Shoot your video.

8. Import the footage into your computer for editing. If your computer doesn’t already have video-editing software, you can obtain free software, shareware or commercial video-editing software, depending on your budget and your computer skills.

9. Edit the video and review it until you have the presentation to your liking.