Classroom Resources: Nuclear Chemistry


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  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Nuclide Stability Investigation Mark as Favorite (3 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will examine the relationship between the stability of an isotope, its half-life, and the make-up of its nucleus.

  • Physical Change, Chemical Change, Observations, Chemical Change, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Physical, Chemical and Nuclear Changes Mark as Favorite (42 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will analyze the representation of physical, chemical, and nuclear changes in four ways: submicroscopic (particle diagrams), symbolic (equations), macroscopic (observations), and linguistic (vocabulary words). This self-guided activity is designed to ensure that students internalize fundamental chemistry concepts that will serve as a meaningful basis for future learning about matter and its changes.

  • Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes, Graphing | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: The Nuclear Decay of Uranium Mark as Favorite (15 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will model the Uranium decay series through nuclear equations, graphing, and particulate diagrams.

  • Half Lives | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Nuclear Medicine Half-Lives Mark as Favorite (21 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will model two half-life scenarios related to nuclear medicine. Through this activity they will learn how to describe half-lives through explanations, calculations, particulate diagrams, and graphs as well as analyze the benefits of long and short half-lives through the context of nuclear medicine.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radiation | High School, Middle School

    Simulation: Radioactive Decay Mark as Favorite (19 Favorites)

    In this simulation, students will investigate why radioactive decay occurs, the changes that occur in the nucleus during three common types of decay (alpha, beta, and gamma decay), and what types of materials can be used to protect against each type of radiation. Students will also have a chance to test their understanding of these concepts with a 10-question quiz.

  • Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Simulation Activity: Radioactive Decay Mark as Favorite (10 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will use a radioactive decay simulation to investigate why radioactive decay occurs, the changes that occur in the nucleus during three common types of decay (alpha, beta, and gamma decay), and what types of materials can be used to protect against each type of radiation. Students will also have a chance to test their understanding of these concepts with a 10-question quiz.

  • Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Nuclear Decay Investigation Mark as Favorite (13 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will explore different types of radioactive decay using a decay chain. Through modeling and analyzing a decay chain, students will familiarize themselves with different isotopes, and begin to understand how decay affects the nucleus of an atom.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives, History | High School

    Lesson Plan: Radiocarbon Dating and Willard Libby Mark as Favorite (7 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about the development and application of radiocarbon dating through an article reading. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Periodic Table, Elements, History, Atomic Mass, Atomic Theory, Isotopes, Subatomic Particles, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Lesson Plan: The Periodic Table and Transuranium Elements Mark as Favorite (18 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will learn about the transuranium elements through reading about some of their discoveries. There are a series of activities to help promote literacy in the science classroom related to the reading. This lesson could be easily used as plans for a substitute teacher, as most of the activities are self-guided.

  • Radiation | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: The Tokaimura Nuclear Accident Mark as Favorite (40 Favorites)

    In this project, students will use their knowledge of nuclear chemistry to read primary sources and write a claim, evidence and reasoning statement to support their determination as to whether the Tokaimura Nuclear Accident was the result of company or worker negligence.

  • Half Lives, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Graphical Analysis of Nuclear Decay Mark as Favorite (30 Favorites)

    In this activity, students analyze a series of graphs and data points to discover a pattern, and realize the meaning of a half-life. During this investigation, students will make connections between the concepts of nuclear decay, radiation and the Law of Conservation of Mass.

  • Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Case Study: The Lung Cancer Mystery Mark as Favorite (35 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will analyze a scenario about the sudden spike of lung cancer cases in a specific neighborhood. They will take on the role of an investigative reporter in order to examine important information related to the crisis. The activity will provide students the opportunity to learn about radon gas, radiation and radioactive isotopes. The activity will culminate with the creation of a poster in the form of a public service announcement, where students will focus on the decay of radon and bring awareness to the hazardous radiation that is emitted.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives, Subatomic Particles, Periodic Table | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Why are Some Isotopes Radioactive? Mark as Favorite (57 Favorites)

    In this activity, students use periodic trends and data to make predictions about what makes an isotope radioactive. They will then verify or refine their predictions using a PhET simulation.

  • Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Fission/Fusion | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Project: Love It or Leave It: Living in the Nuclear Age Mark as Favorite (14 Favorites)

    In this project, students will produce a short research essay to examine not only the information discussed in class, but to expand the scope of this fundamental foundation of information to begin to develop their own sense of perspective of living in the Nuclear Age.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Radioactive Decay and Seafloor Data Mark as Favorite (9 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will apply their understanding of radioactive decay to analyze and interpret the meaning of Atlantic seafloor isotope data. Students will then use their results to suggest past changes that have occurred with the seafloor

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Radioactive Decay and Peat Bogs Mark as Favorite (0 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will apply their understanding of radioactive decay to establish that radiometric dating (specifically C-14) can be used to reliably determine the age of Earth’s materials.

  • Half Lives, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Investigating Exponential Decay Mark as Favorite (0 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will learn about radioactivity, exponential decay, and half-life through two hands-on experiences.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Pros Cons of Nuclear Power, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Fission/Fusion | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Fission vs. Fusion Reading Mark as Favorite (44 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will annotate an informational text about fission and fusion using the “text-in-the-middle” reading strategy. They will then compare and contrast the two types of nuclear reactions.

  • Isotopes, Atoms, Electrons, Subatomic Particles, Elements, History, Introduction, Review, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | Middle School, High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: What are Isotopes? Video Questions Mark as Favorite (51 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will watch a video and answer questions about isotopes. They will learn about the discovery of isotopes, the difference between chemical and nuclear reactions, different kinds of radioactive decay, and some uses of radioactive isotopes.

  • Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Half Lives, Radiation, Radioactive Isotopes, Isotopes, Atomic Mass, Subatomic Particles | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Radiological Applications of Isotopes Mark as Favorite (41 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will apply their knowledge of nuclear notation using trading cards to investigate and discuss the applications of isotopes in the medical field. The conclusion of the activity includes a summative assessment where students must advertise the radiological services using their knowledge of isotopes and their medical applications

  • Isotopes, Atoms, Subatomic Particles, Alpha/Beta/Gamma Decay, Radioactive Isotopes | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Using Stable Isotopes to Determine Material Origin Mark as Favorite (40 Favorites)

    In this lesson, students will review the concept of isotopes and apply the concepts of stability and relative abundance in order to determine the recent travels of a person of interest in a criminal investigation.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Radioactive Dating: The Demise of Frosty Mark as Favorite (33 Favorites)

    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.

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

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Marie Curie Video Questions Mark as Favorite (23 Favorites)

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

  • Radiation | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Nuclear Waste Challenge Mark as Favorite (40 Favorites)

    In this activity, students will design a method to transfer “radioactive” waste from a contaminated area to a proper nuclear waste disposal site from a given list of materials. Students must follow rules and constraints when designing nuclear waste disposal devices and make an effort to maximize their economic gains.

  • Radioactive Isotopes, Half Lives | High School

    Access is an AACT member benefit. Activity: Using Dice to Explore Radioactive Decay Mark as Favorite (27 Favorites)

    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”.

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