To Mendeleev’s Castle You and your friends have been magically transported inside an 18-room castle built by the famous chemist Dimitri 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 in the castle. Once you travel through all the rooms, you will find your way out of Castle Mendeleev. Good luck! 1. 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-length beard streaked with gray hairs. Wearing a nineteenth-century topcoat, it is Dimitri Mendeleev. In a crisp, intelligent voice, the scientist says, "This room has been constructed of a strong lightweight, corrosionresistant metal composed of atoms containing 3 electrons in the outer level and 13 protons in their nuclei. It is the most abundant metal in the earth's crust." What element is this room made 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 colorless, life-giving gas. Suddenly, Mendeleev appears again saying "This element is a non-metal 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 greenish-yellow gas, which immediately begins to burn your nostrils and your throat. You reach into your packs for gas masks to protect yourselves from the poisonous fumes. For the third time a holograph of Mendeleev speaks to you through the eerie gases. "This diatomic gas is a halogen, found in ordinary table salt." What element surrounds you? 4. In the next room you find yourselves surrounded by bright yellow crystals. As you remove your gas masks, the old chemist, tinted yellow by light reflecting off the crystals, appears yet again. "The atoms of this element have 6 electrons in the outer level." Carve the symbol of the correct element into the door. 5. You are now in a room made of a colorless gas, located in one of the towers of the Castle Mendeleev. Beautifully colored balloons hang in mid air all around you. Trying to talk to your friends, your voice sounds high-pitched and squeaky. The holographic image tells you… "The atoms of this element are very noble." What element is this room made of? 6. The sixth room you are transported into, on the second floor of the castle, 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 element is very soft. A portion of the element touches your hand, burning your skin a little. Filling a small glass beaker with water from your canteen, you drop the substance in it to observe its reaction with water. It fizzes around the water releasing a flammable gas and then disappears 7. Next, you are transported to a room with bright white, waxy walls! You are ordered to turn off the lights by a mysterious voice and the entire room glows in the dark when you do! The voice tells you: This element is a non-metal and can either be found as the color red, white, or black. It also glows in the dark! 8. You are now in a room made of a very shiny, silvery metal! The image of Mendeleev appears and says: “This element is a good conductor and is used in computers and other electronics like calculators.” 9. The 9th room is composed of a gas that has no odor, no color, and no taste! An image of the chemist reappears and says to you: “An atom of this element has 2 electrons in its first shell and 5 in its second shell. This element also makes up about 80% of air. What is it?” 10. The next room is made of a soft, white material. So soft, it can be cut with a knife. Mendeleev says to you: It is a very reactive metal that has to be stored in oil or some other unreactive liquid! It does mix well with chlorine to make us salt! 11. Next, you are transported to a room in the corner of the castle. This room is made of a thick, unreactive gas! Mendeleev flickers in to tell you: “This element is used to fill light bulbs and is found in group 18. It’s atomic mass is around 40 amu’s.” 12. After escaping from room 11, you find yourself in a room made of a solid substance. Mendeleev’s image appears in front of you and says: “This element can be found as either graphite (like coal) or as diamonds. Without it, jewelers would go broke and every breath you exhale would be incomplete! What room is this made of? 13. The next room isn’t as glamorous as the last, but it is filled with another unreactive gas. Mendeleev says to you: “This gas glows reddishorange when an electric current runs through it! Vegas wouldn’t be the same without it! 14. This room is made of a light, gray metal and is found in group #2. Mendeleev appears and says: “Because this element is strong and hard, it is added to copper to make it even stronger, yet more elastic! It’s atomic mass is around 9 amu’s. This element has a super high melting point around 1300 degrees Celsius!” 15. The next room is made of a hard, black shiny material, but suddenly it changes to a brown powder. Mendeleev appears: “This element doesn’t conduct heat or electricity very well, but is used in atomic reactors. It has 5 protons!” 16. This room is made of a greenish-yellow gas! It is in the halogen family. Mendeleev tells you: “When combined with sodium, this element helps reduce tooth decay! You may need treatments of this if you don’t have any of this in your water!” 17. Next, you have been transported to a room on the first floor of the Castle that is made of a white solid! Mendeleev speaks to you again, saying: “When combined with other elements, like oxygen, it can be used as an antacid like Pepto! But, used just as the metal it has many uses! Hint: Think Milk!” 18. You finally find yourself in the 2nd tower of the Castle. The room is made of a gas. In fact, it is the lightest and simplest of all elements and the most abundant in the universe! What element is it??? Upon opening the final door out of the castle, Mendeleev appears one last time and says: “Congratulations adventurers. Come, have a seat and drink to your victory with a toast of complex carbon, hydrogen, oxygen compounds dissolved in a liquid compound of hydrogen and oxygen.” Don’t worry, it’s just lemonade!