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High School

This lesson plan, from Discovery Education, will help high school students understand the classification of elements.

Female High School Chemistry Teacher in front of Students in Lab Class

The following are some discussion questions to help students understand the properties, uses and science behind beryllium, specifically, so that students may learn how a material may be well suited for particular uses.

  • Give examples of how beryllium may be used in the following circumstances:
    • Medical devices and equipment
    • Intelligence gathering and military equipment
    • In your family’s car
    • In your home
  • How does beryllium help to improve the fuel efficiency of cars, airplanes and other vehicles?
  • List examples of how beryllium is used to keep people safe.
    • Beryllium adds strength to non-sparking tools to protect people in situations from operating rooms to oil and gas drilling rigs.
    • Beryllium is used in fire safety and detection equipment – keeping it in a constant state of readiness in case of emergency.
    • Beryllium used in automobile and airplane braking systems ensures that you can stop on time every time.
  • Discuss alloys – and why you might want to combine beryllium with another material.
    • For example: copper beryllium combines the strength of beryllium with the electrical conductivity of copper. Nickel beryllium is very heat resistant, and is used in fire detection and suppression equipment.
  • Consider how items that use beryllium would have to be altered if the metal were not available.
    • For example: airplanes could weight thousands of pounds more if an alternative metal had to be used – and would use more fuel to transport that additional weight.