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Quantitatively Puzzling Mark as Favorite (34 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Measurements, Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Subatomic Particles. Last updated January 29, 2024.


In this activity, students will analyze sixteen chemistry-based clues and use the numbers, zero through fifteen as possible answer choices for each one. The clues cover content related to measurement, scientific notation, significant digits, atomic structure and the periodic table.

Grade Level

High School


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Answer basic questions related to measurement, scientific notation and significant digits.
  • Use the periodic table to collect and analyze information.

Chemistry Topics

This activity supports students’ understanding of

  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Measurement
  • Scientific Notation
  • Significant Figures
  • Atomic Structure
  • Periodic Table


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 15 minutes


  • Student Handout
  • Periodic Table


  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • This teaching resource was inspired by a similar puzzle that was published in the December 2015 issue of ChemMatters Magazine.
  • This activity was highlighted as the ChemFun section of the March 2020 issue of Chemistry Solutions.
  • This puzzle was designed to be a short activity to challenge students with quantitatively based questions related to measurement and the periodic table.
  • It could be used at the beginning of the school year, after measurement topics have been discussed, or alternatively it might be used as review later in the school year.
  • An answer key document has been provided for teacher reference.

For the Student



To complete this puzzle, you will need to match the numbers 0 through 15 to the clues provided below. A number can only be used once. Use a periodic table to help you complete this puzzle!

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Number Clue
The number of diatomic gases.
The atomic number of the lightest alkaline earth metal.
Subtract the atomic number of Sodium from that of Manganese.
The numerical value for the prefix nona as used in the naming of covalent molecules.
The maximum number of electrons held in the second ring of a Bohr model.
The number of millimeters equal to 1 centimeter.
The atomic number of the element in period 3 with the lowest ionization energy.
The number of moles equal to 1.806 x 1024 particles.
The number of significant digits in the measurement: 0.010 Liters.
The mass of a carbon atom that contains 7 neutrons.
The number of electrons shared between a carbon atom and an oxygen atom in the Lewis structure of carbon monoxide.
The value for the density of water, as expressed in g/ml.
The lowest value on the pH scale.
The percent error of a reaction, if 5.1 grams of product was formed in the lab, but 6.0 grams of product were predicted.
The number of zeros written after “2”, when the value 4.52 x 107 pm is written in standard form.
The sum of the total number of electrons from a lithium ion and a fluoride ion.