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International Year of the Periodic Table

International Year of the Periodic Table

2019 - International Year of the Periodic Table

The United Nations has declared 2019 to be the international year of the periodic table to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's discovery. The Western Michigan ACS will attempt to create the world's largest periodic table during National Chemistry Week on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Kelly Family Sports Center on the campus of GVSU. This will be accomplished by having different teams design elements on table cloths that will be 216" by 162" each (see details below) to represent all 118 elements of the periodic table. The complete periodic table will then be 120 yards long by 54 yards tall, nearly the size of a football field! We are eagerly accepting commitments from groups to create the various elements and you can follow this link to see what elements are still unclaimed. In addition to our attempt to set a new Guinness World Record, we will have demonstrations and hands-on chemistry activities throughout the event like is normally done if you have attended Chemistry at the Mall. The event will be free and open to the public.

If your group is interested in making one of the elements, please use follow this link to find an element that you will make, and email Michelle DeWitt ( to confirm your selection. Each element should adhere to the following:

1. Atomic number in top left that measures 40" tall by 20-30" wide.

2. Element name in bottom left that is 20" tall by 90-130" wide.

3. Element symbol in center that is 120-130" tall by 100-120" tall.

4. Atomic weight in bottom right that is 20" tall by 40" wide.

5. There should be a 6" border from each edge.

You can easily meet the size requirement by hot gluing 6 rectangular table cloths together. Acrylic paint seems to work best at adhering to the table cloths for the information. Beyond that feel free to get creative with facts and pictures about your element! We do not have strict color requirements but the text defined above should be high-contrast compared to the color of the table cloths so it can be seen from far away when we photograph the entire periodic table.

Please take pictures of your group making your element. We plan to make a collage or video of the periodic table assembly to go along with the reveal of the World's Largest Periodic Table! All elements will be due to Michelle DeWitt (, 378 Padnos, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401) by April 1, 2019 so there is plenty of time to construct missing elements.

For all the people that helped to make (or are still working on an element) the World's Largest Periodic Table, we have started group sale for t-shirts & hoodiesThere are quite a few options from which you can choose! You simply pay Custom Ink directly and then you can pay to have the shirts shipped directly to you (for a fee) or pick them up here at the GVSU Chemistry department or the event. 

Volunteering on the day of the event

If you plan to volunteer October 19th for 3 or more hours you will be getting a T-Shirt for your efforts. There are still opportunities to volunteer to assemble the complete table at the event on Saturday, October 19th. Shifts are 9am-noon and noon-3pm. The later shift will be taking down the table. You can sign up to volunteer at the link below.

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