Classroom Resources: Nuclear Chemistry


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  • Phase Changes, Radiation, Half Lives, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Activity: Radioactive Dating: The Demise of Frosty

    In this activity students will investigate the idea that carbon dating is based on gathering evidence in the present and extrapolating it to the past. Students will use a simple graph to extrapolate data to its starting point and then pool the data to make a graph that simulates half-life. Students will be introduced to solving mathematical problems that involve half-life.

  • History, Model of the Atom, Atomic Structure, Radiation, Half Lives, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Marie Curie Video Questions

    In this activity, students will watch a short video and learn about Marie Curie, her Nobel Prizes, radiation experiments, and discovery of new elements.

  • Half Lives, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Activity: Using Dice to Explore Radioactive Decay

    In this activity, students will use dice to simulate the radioactive “decay” of samples of two different elements with two different half-lives. At the end of the simulation, all the groups will pool their data (by round) and then the class results will be graphed. The graphs will be analyzed to illustrate the process of radioactive decay and to determine the half-life of each element in the fictitious time units of “rounds”.

  • History, Radiation, Pros Cons of Nuclear Power, Atomic Theory, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School

    Activity: Lise Meitner Video Questions

    In this activity, students will complete a short series of questions as they watch the Founders of Chemistry video about Lise Meitner. The video tells the story of Lise Meitner, a pioneering female scientist in the field of nuclear chemistry, who was denied a Nobel Prize but has an Element named in her honor.

  • History, Atoms, Radiation, Pros Cons of Nuclear Power, Atomic Theory, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School

    Video: Lise Meitner Video

    This video tells the story of Lise Meitner, a pioneering female scientist in the field of nuclear chemistry, who was denied a Nobel Prize but has an Element named in her honor.

  • Radiation, Half Lives, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Simulation: Half-Life Investigation

    In this simulation, students will have the opportunity to investigate the decay of two samples of unstable atoms. Students will interact with the simulation in order to decay the unstable samples resulting in a visual and graphical interpretation of half-life.

  • History, Radiation, Half Lives, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Marie Curie Video

    This video tells the story about Marie Curie, including her Nobel Prizes, radiation experiments, and discovery of new elements. Irene Curie is also mentioned.

  • History, Model of the Atom, Atomic Theory, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School

    Video: Ernest Rutherford Video

    Rutherford's initial research was studying alpha particles, which he hypothesized were helium nuclei. With the help of Hans Geiger, Rutherford conducted the gold foil experiment, which justifies that the nucleus of an atom is a dense collection of protons and contains the majority of an atom’s mass. It also inferred that most of the atom is empty space and electrons are not located in the nucleus. He won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908 for his studies on radioactive substances.

  • History, Periodic Table, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Astatine Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about astatine, the rarest element in the universe.

  • History, Periodic Table, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | High School, Middle School, Elementary School

    Video: Helium Video

    In this video, Sam Kean tells stories about helium.

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Subtopic: Radioactive Isotopes

Grade Level: High School

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