As I’ve commented before, ‘you never know when you’re going to encounter some science’. I was vegetating in front of the television set a week or so ago when Jill Amery of the Urban Mommies website mentioned to Fanny Kiefer on the Studio 4 show, a project for kids on their spring break, the Periodic Table of Cupcakes. Here’s what they have on the Urban Mommy website,
3. Periodic Table of Cupcakes. Ditto. What an amazing way to teach chemistry to kids going in to high school – especially if they have a sweet tooth. Kudos: Buzzfeed. Wow.
There were five other projects listed (with more detail for those ones) on the site.
As I wanted more information, I started searching. It seems there’s a whole subculture of cupcake-baking lovers of the periodic table of elements. There’s this 2011 video celebrating chemist’s Martyn Poliakoff’s birthday, from the University of Nottingham’s Periodic Table of Videos,
Woman’s Day magazine has a periodic table of cupcakes complete with recipes but this periodic table does not have the standard elements. The editors have tailored the table so the elements relate to the cupcake recipes, e. g., the nonelement, Rv stands for Red Velvet.
The earliest versions of the more correct cupcake tables seem to date from 2009. Here’s this picture and text from a Nov. 27, 2009 posting by Katherine on the Foodie Friday blog,
I helped my little sister bake these periodic table cupcakes for her birthday party tomorrow.
She’s a chemistry nerd, so everything had to be exactly correct. Astute chem majors will notice the color-coded icing for solids, liquids, and gases, as well as the empty cupcake liner for as-yet-undiscovered element ununseptium.