Anne-Marie Yes. It is geared toward non-experts and non-scientists, and is engagingly written. You will probably have the best luck choosing single elements as the assignments.
Lithezebra Probably not for a science class. The book seems to be more of a history book. I got it as a Kindle book. If I had looked through it, I wouldn't have bought it. That said, I'm still reading it because it's entertaining and well written.