by Maya Hamdan
Upper school science teacher Rob Orr has always been passionate about science. His love for teaching science is notable all around the OES Upper School. However, Rob recently revealed to me an additional undisclosed occupation that his love for science led to: creating his very own periodic table company.
Orr Scientific Charts was established 1996, while teaching high school biology. Rob’s students were having trouble comprehending the topics covered, resulting in Rob searching the market for a biology periodic table in hopes of helping them. After hours of severe searching, Rob came to terms with the fact that there was simply no such thing as a “biology periodic table.” Although the nonexistence of biology periodic tables initially distressed Rob, he then realized that this was a great opportunity for him to invent one.
Rob recruited his esteemed AP bio students to help him with the initial research for the prototype. Once the entire periodic table had been mapped, it was time to digitally design the table. Rob considered designing it himself, however he immediately decided against it due to his lack of artistic skills. “I knew that my digital design of my biology periodic table would look horrible. Not only would this have led to a distorted product, but then there was always the potential threat of someone coming across my product and deciding to steal my idea and making their own better design of my biology periodic table.”, explained Rob.
Prior to establishing Orr Scientific Charts, many predicted that Rob would never sell more than 300 charts. However, Rob proved them wrong by selling over 400 charts within the company’s first year. And as of 2018, over 13,000 Orr Scientific Charts have been sold, and Orr Scientific Charts continues to grow.