Ancient Matter

The Days of Alchemy – a Digital Story

The way we study chemistry today, hasn’t always been the case for our ancestors. In fact, prior to the modern periodic table of elements and the term “chemistry”, ancient civilizations were experimenting with the pseudoscience of “alchemy.”

One of the most astonishing features of this pseudoscience, was that it was apparent in almost all of the ancient civilizations, with many never making contact with each other.

As you will hear in the video, what we know about science today has been a culmination of knowledge gathered from cultures across the world.

Ancient Matter Video

As you heard in the video, alchemists believed that everything was created from the four main elements of Earth, fire, water, and air with a few variations in various cultures. One of the biggest goals of alchemy was to create gold from other metals, often times using mercury.

Has anyone heard of the “philosopher’s stone”?

For the final project in this unit, I would like each group to create their OWN digital story on the philosopher’s stone in a chosen culture/civilization.

For the video, you will be using Adobe Spark Video – like I did in the video above.


  • Pick a culture/civilization to discuss philosopher’s stone
  • Maximum of 4 minutes
  • Each slide should have audio and a picture
  • Provide a written transcript

You have a lot of freedom in what type of information you would like to provide about the culture and it’s work on the philosopher’s stone. The goal of this project is to become familiar with creating a digital story and to also explore how chemistry was shaped through thousands of years of experimental collection through various cultures.

The final projects for all be shared on this class website under their own blog post. We will watch everyone’s project throughout the week.

Grade will be determined on completeness of requirements.

Please email me with any questions.






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