Activities for Atomic Theory and Atomic Issues
The Fukushima disaster is just over one year ago, and the effects continue to roll out across Japan. 20% of US power is nuclear. We have some well within fall out range. It’s an issue that I grew up with during the Cold War, the coal strikes and the disaster movies of the 1970s. Nuclear = terrifying. And yet, climate change, terrifying in a whole different way. The zeitgeist has shifted and the nuclear debate is unclear. (That’s ‘nuclear’ for dyslexics :-))
Nuclear Power – the way of the future?! How are 8th graders feeling about this, after learning about climate change and how nuclear power and nuclear bombs work? A walking debate of my 8th grade classes showed, surprisingly, that there are very few who say ‘NO!’ The majority are more nuanced, with a bias towards the ‘yes’ side, with safety precautions. Here’s a sheet to support the walking debate: Nuclear Power IssueTheir arguments for were around peak oil and emissions, and the graph of deaths per billion kilowatt hours for different power sources. Coal was the worst btw. Here’s the Atoms Isotopes and Radiation PowerPoint used which includes and cites the graphs and maps.
Greta came up with two great labs to teach the concept of isotopes and radioactive decay using beans, pennies and dice. Games on the first really rainy days of the year, my favorite.
1. Never Underestimate the Element of Surprise: Isotopes with cups, beans and calculators
Entry filed under: Atoms and Elements, Chemistry topics, Critical Thinking, Data Analysis, Energy Opportunities Project, Inquiry and critical thinking, Physics Topics. Tags: 8th grade science, atomic structure, atomic theory, debate, games, half life, isotopes, nuclear power, powerpoint, radiation, radioactivity, simulations.