Articles, Blog

An American Chemistry Teacher – Periodic Table of Videos

October 24, 2019

‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the
United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’
[Music] My name is Robert Rountree and I teach seventh
grade science in Pittsburgh, New York which is upstate New York. And we focus on chemistry,
so I love to tell the kids that I love chemistry because I love the Periodic Table.
I remember my middle school teachers and I remember the demonstrations, so when I started
teaching I kind of used that as a guide that I would try to make sure that I would give
the kids as many demonstrations as possible. I think more times than not I use it as what’s
called a motivator, meaning you try to do something…the research says the kids will
remember whatever you say first and whatever you say last and if you’re lucky they will
remember something in-between. And that’s always the trick of putting a lesson together,
but if you can grab their attention at the beginning then you tend to have it for the
whole rest of the class. You know the idea of having a video for each element is brilliant,
it really is, because that way in one place you can go to and find out what it is you
want to know about that element and then each video obviously leads to more and more questions.
As soon as a kid mentions an element, or I mention an element, it will be like go to
the video. [Muted sound from video playing to the class]
Good Chemistry! Melt on! ‘The demo of the day is the demo of the
demo of the demo of the day!’ [Class cheers] You know when Brady said he was coming I thought
well what can I do, I was thinking, and I don’t know whether I had just seen the zinc
video or I went home and saw the zinc video, but I just thought that would be a really
cool demonstration. You know because there’s the ‘oh ah’ factor and then YouTube, is
it YouTube friendly? I decided in putting this together that I better find out whether
it was legal or not otherwise I was going to have to do something with dry ice, which
would have been awesome but not quite the ‘oh ah’ factor I was looking for. And
I called the USA mint and I got the person who sells coins, and she thought it was an
awesome question, and she said well let me give you some numbers and there is an educational
exemption that if you are melting pennies for educational purposes that that in fact
is okay, it is legal. Is white hot hotter than red hot?
Hi Professor my question is: is it aluminum or aluminium?
What’s your favourite element? What’s your least favourite element?
Hi, what’s the most dangerous element? What first got you interested in science?
So I just press space…or do I have to have the thing on the…? They’re interesting
questions aren’t they? Hey Professor, have you ever played with mercury?


  • Reply Dhwanit Dave July 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm


  • Reply Dhwanit Dave July 27, 2009 at 9:47 pm


  • Reply BGenerous July 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Ethiopia, Sweden, China, the US–you really get around!

    Seeing your videos used in the classroom like this must be particularly gratifying. Keep up the good work!

  • Reply HLSDK July 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Depending, we did in my catholic school, might have in highschool. Not sure why it needs to be done every day but when I say it, I mean every word (being American).

    It would be even weirder if someone from another country said it ;p

  • Reply noyan000 July 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm


  • Reply Coldwar 1204 July 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Religious freedom, yes, but it was founded by christians on Christian principles. You very vocal few keep trying to strip the rest of us of everything we hold dear. Please stop.

  • Reply Coldwar 1204 July 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Wonderful video! Thanks for visiting these students in America and do it again soon! Absolutely inspirational!

  • Reply scotsmanRS July 27, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    I like how you point out that irreligious people are a minority. That obviously makes us less worthy of an opinion.

    What Christian principles? The laws are common sense, common morality, the same laws as you get in non-Christian countries. You have got our motives very wrong if you think we're trying to "strip you of what you hold dear". Stop stripping everyone else of their religious freedom by injecting Christianity into secular aspects of life.

  • Reply sharperguy July 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Why would anyone pledge allegiance to some dirt and hills?

  • Reply sharperguy July 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    In primary school we had to sing the lords prayer every morning but I think that was the school's decision (there is no real choice of school here).

  • Reply sharperguy July 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Umm, on a less political note, I like what he says about demonstrations.

    I remember our chemistry teacher showing us how breaking up a substance would allow it to react faster by burning a pack of cards in a block and then separating them out.

  • Reply buzzausa July 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I think you guys are producing a brilliant series of videos and I commend Mr. Rountree for using them as a tool to get young minds excited about science.

    Great job…all of you.

  • Reply Zack Weaver July 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    The true way to say it IS Aluminium.

  • Reply bbsonjohn July 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Demonstration is a good way to trick students into studying pure science. 😀

  • Reply scotsmanRS July 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    The whole "aluminum/aluminium" debate is pretty much the same as any other American spelling change debate. In any country other than the USA, I'd use "aluminium", but I'd probably just switch to calling it "aluminum" if I were over there (just as I'd call it "aluminio" in a Spanish-speaking country).

  • Reply Squagnut July 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    When I first knew about the Periodic Table of Videos (PTV), I mentioned it on a forum. A friend read the forum and told a science teacher friend of his, and that teacher now uses the PTV in class.

    Brady Haran deserves a medal.

  • Reply Scarper July 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    The "True way" is the version accepted by IUPAC.
    The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) adopted aluminium as the standard international name for the element in 1990, but three years later recognized aluminum as an acceptable variant. Hence their periodic table includes both.[old.iupac. org/reports/periodic_table/index.html]
    IUPAC officially prefers the use of aluminium in its internal publications, although several IUPAC publications use the spelling aluminum.

  • Reply Scarper July 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    If you remove the spaces that link will take you to an IUPAC Periodic Table.
    Both versions are acceptable, but the "ium" version is preferred. Hope that was useful.

  • Reply petercourt July 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Awh, PTV Love 😉

  • Reply Bob Bobson July 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    His voice is kinda like a computer :O

  • Reply Alex July 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I would dom anything to meet the profeser in person 😛

  • Reply Nibiru July 27, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    i wish we had that in my country…

  • Reply birdorama July 27, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    It isnt a prayer. It may sound like that though. Its the national anthem. I never said it in any class I was in throughout my schooling, but it appears some kids do.

  • Reply helmus2000 July 27, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    wow this is just absolutely wonderful 🙂

  • Reply Byron Thomas July 28, 2009 at 12:27 am

    The pledge was all put on for you. what a joke

  • Reply Byron Thomas July 28, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Although what i wrote is my personal feelings. i still love the vids. It also make me smile that there teachers like Mr Rountree they tend to be the exception.

  • Reply CANDY APPLE July 28, 2009 at 1:24 am

    This is actually pretty awesome.

  • Reply SammySamff1 July 28, 2009 at 1:42 am

    I wanna try that penny thing

  • Reply l3ushy July 28, 2009 at 3:01 am

    hey… errrr professor have you ever played with mercury…

    i loled

  • Reply gameboyredpee July 28, 2009 at 3:02 am

    my school does it until we graduate, it was annoying after awhile lol.

  • Reply dylz July 28, 2009 at 3:19 am

    i wish my 7th grade science class were like this!

  • Reply Stone Anderson July 28, 2009 at 3:37 am

    I do it on Monday mornings and am in ninth. o.o''

  • Reply acrophobe July 28, 2009 at 4:19 am


    periodicvideos getting all international.

  • Reply insAneTunA July 28, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Awesome, I would have loved this in my class, I am no longer a student, I guess I never really was, but these videos make even me very enthusiast about chemistry and science in general.

    Greets from the Netherlands, iT

  • Reply JerryKitich July 28, 2009 at 5:08 am

    hey professor did you every do an experiment at home that turned out to be really stinky and then your parents came home & you tried to keep a straigt face 🙂

  • Reply Barnekkid July 28, 2009 at 6:44 am

    It's just that he isn't gonzo nuts.

  • Reply tybo09 July 28, 2009 at 6:47 am

    Mr Roundtree represents what little bit of good is left in US Public education.

  • Reply megs97216 July 28, 2009 at 7:41 am

    No not all. Portland public schools does not require children (k-12) to say the pledge.

  • Reply Vladimir Haljkevic July 28, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Nice video. It made me happy to see kids learning!! Yeah I'm so happy!!

  • Reply Dracopol July 28, 2009 at 11:14 am

    British profs may confuse-ify the kids. There are a few elements they pronounce differently, like Al (aluminum/aluminium). What are other elements with different British pronunciations?

  • Reply The freshman July 28, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I wish we had a science class like this one in our middle school

  • Reply Timothy Simmons July 28, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    They never really touched the periodic table of elements until I was High School, except to say that it existed. Watching stuff like this really shows how slow my education was compared to others. Glad to see science actually being taught in schools though and not just rote memorization and regurgitation.

  • Reply Martyn Grace July 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Aluminium is spelt like that so I think you'll find we're right. I've never seen an American call people from England English before :D, it's always British.

  • Reply Tiffi Torres July 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    cool video, i hope make this things in my classes too

  • Reply RogChannel July 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    lovely directory and great music

  • Reply Jason Newton July 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    that penny thing was so cool!

  • Reply YamiPoyo July 29, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Shouted dinner?

  • Reply sirachman July 29, 2009 at 6:26 am

    That is awesome if they actually still say the pledge of alliegance.

  • Reply Willmanmomo July 29, 2009 at 7:03 am

    We melt pennies at our school as well, though the AP class does it more for fun than anything.

  • Reply techbri July 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    i love these videos so much 🙂

  • Reply YamiPoyo July 29, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Ty for letting me know what it means.

  • Reply Envergure July 29, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Darn, I want to do that now but Canadian pennies are made of steel!

  • Reply TeamVacaville July 30, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I teach Math, and I know not everyone needs to know the minutae of the mathematics of chemistry, I still adore it. and physics.

  • Reply Party Bot July 30, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I think a video focusing on nucleic phenomena would be fascinating. I love the part of "Cosmos" where Carl Sagan lays out the mathematical simplciity of protons & neutrons combining to form elements with distinct properties by virtue of the resulting unique stable electron clouds…

    Great video; great teacher; great kids; great questions! Wonderful work! Thanks very much!

  • Reply Augie Cooper July 31, 2009 at 11:33 am

    IF your willing to do the work to get the degree there are jobs that pay very well. Probably since there are so few people who can wrap their mind around everything that goes into science, just as a bit of warning I do know alot of unemployed or under employied engeneers.

  • Reply Devon .Lencucha August 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

    not in north amaerica its was the second orignaly but it changed in NA becasue a spelling error

  • Reply Capt. Dirk August 7, 2009 at 12:39 am

    this is our class

  • Reply Capt. Dirk August 7, 2009 at 12:42 am

    its me in the blue shirt at 2:50

  • Reply Andrew Wang August 7, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Wow they actually did quite a good job editing. this is great!

    lol im some kid at 1:03 at the left of the guy with the yellow shirt. check out my channel??

  • Reply Trey Morgan August 14, 2009 at 9:48 pm


    professor has some technical troubles

  • Reply Juan Pretorius August 19, 2009 at 3:51 am

    not alu-min-um

  • Reply Lilly Pieper August 22, 2009 at 6:01 am

    yay!!! this is my class!!!! its so cool seeing it

  • Reply Christophe L August 31, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    "the demo of the day yay!"
    haha so cute!! I wish I had a teacher like that! Keep on motivating the kids to learn science, great work.

  • Reply Emily Lowe September 10, 2009 at 1:02 am

    tht red haired girl was me:)!!

  • Reply Meredith Watson September 25, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Yes i was a part of the demo of the day song it was so much funn!

  • Reply Meredith Watson September 25, 2009 at 7:46 am

    the dusky blue shirt not the bright blue one cuz that would be me

  • Reply Meredith Watson September 25, 2009 at 7:48 am

    Yeah we do every morning but we're not required to it's optional. but most of us do it

  • Reply Meredith Watson September 25, 2009 at 7:52 am

    yes. i am the aluminum girl. hold the applause 😀

  • Reply BenjaminFranklin2u March 2, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Those public school kids are saying the pledge of allegiance wrong.
    Its: One nation, Indivisible…
    Not: One nation, under god…

    I'm not surprised this passes in American schools though… right wing extremist's have penetrated the school system.

  • Reply nbscinta March 13, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Good job Mr. Rountree! That's a great video! You have a future in YouTube videos! Start inviting more Scientists to class!

  • Reply Capt. Dirk March 17, 2010 at 5:52 am

    when did anyone swear

  • Reply Capt. Dirk March 17, 2010 at 5:54 am

    thats Mr. tree…

  • Reply TheEchoesofMetroid June 3, 2010 at 8:17 am

    @woodpod it the national anthem dude. . .often reqire or strongly "recommend" tat we recite it every morning at the start of class.

  • Reply Demonlogist July 31, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    @woodpod Brainwashing American? -w- dunno….

  • Reply madjimms October 12, 2010 at 2:54 am

    The beginning was disgusting.

  • Reply Azenturi October 22, 2010 at 1:46 am

    @Zeldakitteh It's actually both.

  • Reply Blinkwing November 5, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    @woodpod in some classes they use to draw svastics each morning

  • Reply Peter Schmidt November 17, 2010 at 12:17 am

    mostly just elementary schools do it, and some middle schools. you never see it in high schools or colleges. but ya, you are right

  • Reply GRAHAMAUS November 23, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I can't imagine a British teacher giving the legal issue any thought whatsoever, but would just do it. I mean it's only a penny…

  • Reply Magnificat2020 December 1, 2010 at 6:01 am

    thats the pledge of allegiance.. and was done when i was in those grades, and glad to see they still do it some places…

  • Reply Sophie Ng Jing Yi December 31, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    @periodicvideos haha so next time im in australia i shout at the person dinner when im hungry?DINNER!!!!!!!!

  • Reply reinux January 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    @woodpod think this school's just really ritualistic, with their "demo of the day yay" chant and all that.

  • Reply goldenate January 28, 2011 at 10:22 am

    @woodpod In sensible America (California), we don't do that.

  • Reply Ryan Stadel February 4, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Wow… the pledge of allegiance in New York? We didn't even do that in Illinois after 6th grade.

  • Reply uberdample June 11, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    @woodpod I'd recommend trying to dig up some information on this before jumping to conclusions such as 'all Americans are cocky assholes'. Only a few states require children to say the pledge of allegiance during school, and it is usually disregarded as unnecessary by the aforementioned students. We aren't all as proud of our country as you'd seem to think.

  • Reply jvp367 June 25, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Under god… really? Science teachers should deplore such an anti-science 'faith-based' concept that has nothing to do with the world we live in. Please realize that 'faith' and science are mutually exclusive.

  • Reply Illimar Rekand July 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    What a lovely class and a nice teacher. I wish I had this type of education when I was as old as they were

  • Reply ᵉᵣᵢₓᵐᵢₓ ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ June 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    The pledge is a bit nationalistic

  • Reply computersolutions164 September 13, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I love watching Martin's videos – he reminds me of my late Physics Teacher at boarding school who was very similar . Lots of demonstrations

  • Reply Justin Dixon September 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

    ick. That disgusting nationalistic pledge ruined anything good about this video. 

  • Reply Connelly90 November 1, 2014 at 1:46 am

    I never really understood the pledge of allegiance.

    I love Scotland, but I don't think I'd be able to fully take a teacher seriously if we were made to sing Flower of Scotland before the class.

  • Reply Nick Dziwanowski December 24, 2014 at 5:16 am

    My god, children are horrible. Teachers are truly heroes. Or psychopaths, I can never really tell the difference…

  • Reply DownaldTrump December 25, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Democracy lol

  • Reply James Mahoney December 30, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Are you guys going to visit me when I start teaching chemistry? =D

  • Reply bob nuck January 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    uhm, is this a joke?

  • Reply jeeling February 3, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Yeeah alot of us dont really agree with the whole Pledge thing here… its definetely weird but something most people just accept it w/o thinking…

  • Reply HeisenTwerk February 6, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    What's with the whole flag thing

  • Reply aGmanproduction April 20, 2015 at 1:49 am

    It's within everyone's right to agree or disagree with the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States. But, do you really have to complain to everyone about it? We all have different views and opinions and it probably wouldn't make a bit of difference that you say you like or dislike it. Most of us came to watch a video about teaching chemistry (which I found wonderful to see so many girls interested in it), not to see complaints about a few seconds of a pledge unrelated to the video.

  • Reply John Zanet May 17, 2015 at 4:35 am

    Rochester! Pitsford!? I'm studying biochemistry at RIT right down the road!

  • Reply J.G Stoner June 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    I suspected as soon as the Pledge got into things the internet would have a cumulative heart attack. 

    But for real Mr Rountree, take a NAP, man. Good grief you look as if you're about to conk out right away

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