As a student, I often had trouble
with exams. Fortunately, a friend showed me the trick of
drawing (diagramming) whatever I was studying. A new world
opened up for me. If I could draw it, I could write it out
for the exam. And I understood it more clearly. I’m
still drawing, in a way, but Flash ActionScript is my medium.
Most of my work covers science and math themes. The periodic
table project was a lot of fun. Getting the dynamically
generated cells for each element lined up correctly, and
communicating back and forth between flash and webMathematica,
was a bit of a challenge. But that’s the kind of challenge
It isn’t often that an educational
piece is featured in an experimental art gallery. However,
this inventive take on the periodic table of elements that
we learned in high school chemistry class is worthy of this
recognition. Kristin Henry’s interactive version of
the table acts as flash cards for the elements. It allows
us to quiz ourselves with quick rollovers. Additionally,
it provides a wealth of information when an element is clicked.
This two-level approach is very intuitive and effective.
Table Toy is a novel presentation of the periodic table
as a word game. It is surprisingly challenging and satisfying
to create words from the elements’ symbols. Word lists
can be submitted and will be judged and published in a “best
of” list on GalaxyGoo.
These two interactive experiences demonstrate that Flash
experimentation needn’t always be in the visual realm.
Gathering and presenting information effectively is not
a trivial task and Kristin accomplishes the undertaking
The interactive periodic table uses XML for basic information
and webMathematica for the details of the elements. Kristin
is pioneering the use of webMathematica as a backend tool
controlled by Flash to create useful and educational applications.