The Periodic Tile Project: Exploring the Elements With Teacher Candidates Through Science and Art

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Allaire, F. S. (2022). The Periodic Tile Project: Exploring the elements with teacher candidates through science and art. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 7(3). Retrieved from
by Franklin S. Allaire, University of Houston-Downtown


Studies have shown that teacher candidates enrolled in teacher preparation programs, particularly those in early childhood and elementary certification tracks, do not feel comfortable with science content or feel confident in their ability to teach science effectively as they enter student teaching. The Periodic Tile Project is an interdisciplinary project and performance assessment that takes an essential component of the chemistry curriculum that is often treated as a static tool to be memorized and brings the dynamic facets of the elements to life through the integration of science and art. Integrating science and art in performance-based assessments has been shown to increase engagement, self-motivation, and sense of ownership and enhance expression and communication skills in K–12 students. It can provide the same benefits to science teacher candidates. This article describes the use of the Periodic Tile Project with teacher candidates to explore the elements in a fun, meaningful, and memorable way.

Innovations Journal articles, beyond each issue's featured article, are included with ASTE membership. If your membership is current please login at the upper right.

Become a member or renew your membership


Allaire, F., Pohl, B., & Miller, D. M. (2020). Children’s literature as a vehicle for fostering elementary pre-service teachers’ science and social studies engagement. Journal of the World Federation of Associations of Teacher Education, 3(3), 9–31.

American Association of Colleges and Universities. (2018). Oral Communication VALUE Rubric. Retrieved September 4, 2020, from

Banilower, E. R., Smith, P. S., Malzahn, K. A., Plumley, C. L., Gordon, E. M., & Hayes, M. L. (2018). Report of the 2018 NSSME+. Horizon Research.

Belardo, C., Burrows, A. C., & Dambekalns, L. (2017). Partnering science and art: Pre-service teachers’ experiences for use in pre-collegiate classrooms. Problems of Education in the 21st Century, 75(3), 215–234.

Bequette, J. W., & Bequette, M. B. (2012). A place for art and design education in the STEM conversation. Art Education, 65(2), 40–47.

Brígido, M., Borrachero, A. B., Bermejo, M. L., & Mellado, V. (2013). Prospective primary teachers’ self-efficacy and emotions in science teaching. European Journal of Teacher Education, 36(2), 200–217.

Burrow, L., & Cross, C. (2019). STREAMing engineering. Science and Children, 57(3), 78–84.

Flynn, L.-A. (2008). In praise of performance-based assessments. Science and Children, 45(8), 32–35.

Frazier, R., & Caemmerer, A. (2014). Science + art = enhanced learning experiences for students. Science Scope, 37(5), 38–43.

Gunning, A. M., & Mensah, F. M. (2011). Preservice elementary teachers’ development of self-efficacy and confidence to teach science: A case study. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 22(2), 171–185.

Hegedus, T., Segarra, V. A., Allen, T. G., Wilson, H., Garr, C., & Budzinski, C. (2016). The art-science connection. The Science Teacher, 83(7), 25–31.

Maslyk, J. (2016). STEAM makers: Fostering creativity and innovation in the elementary classroom. Corwin.

Merten, S. (2011). Enhancing science education through art. Science Scope, 35(2), 31–35.

Palmer, D. H. (2006). Sources of self-efficacy in a science methods course for primary teacher education students. Research in Science Education, 36(4), 337–353.

Sousa, D. A., & Pilecki, T. (2013). From STEM to STEAM: Using brain-compatible strategies to integrate the arts. Corwin.

Stellflue, P., Allen, M., & Gerber, D. T. (2005). Art & science grow together. Science and Children, 43(1), 33–35.

Stokes, N. C. (2001). The fin art of science. The Science Teacher, 68(3), 22–24.

Stoll, L., & Schultz, S. E. (2019). How to design a performance task. Science Scope, 42(7), 40–45.

Texas Educaiton Agency. (2022). Approved educator standards.

University of Houston-Downtown, Office of Institutional Research. (2020). Fact book: 2019-2020.

Young, S. (2007). Our class periodic table. Science Scope, 31(2), 78–80.