Our inspiration for Elementum was our AP Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Cavallaro. After many grueling hours spent studying for chemistry, we decided there has to be a more entertaining way to study for AP Chem. We wanted to make elements more interesting, and thus, Elementum was born.
What it does
Elementum allows iOS users to view elements as cutely colored fluffballs. Users can also mix elements to create various molecular compounds (also as fluffballs), and even use these elements and molecular compounds to discover reactions. With Elementum, chemists can test their knowledge of chemistry and discover fun new compounds and reactions in a fluffy new form.
How we built it
We built Elementum with swift and xcode. The fluffy atoms were made in Blender. We coded the elements and molecules to show up based on atomic mass. We used UIKit to make the app look nice and flow well.
Challenges we ran into
The primary challenge we ran into with Elementum was how to identify every single molecule differently. Because there is such a large amount of molecules, we had to come up with something that would simplify the process of identifying them in the code and using their attributes. To do this, we based everything off of molar mass. This way, it is easy to simply take the elements that make up a molecule and find the total molar mass. This can be used as a unique identity, and it is an important piece of information in chemistry.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are extremely pleased with the end result of overwhelming cuteness from the element symbols (fluffballs). Furthermore, the overall coming together of the app worked just as wanted and captured our main purpose in constructing Elementum.
What we learned
We learned that it is very easy to forget the basic rules of chemistry, yet this fun format made it much easier to remember the rigorous rules involved with chemistry. We also learned more about structuring apps, and how to make prettier UIs.
What's next for Elementum
For further development, we plan to extend our database of elements, molecules, and reactions. We also wish to incorporate a rewards system in which the player must earn elements through little tests of knowledge that further provide the effectiveness of the app's capability as a study tool.