This project is the greatest way to spark your students’ innate interest in learning about the many interesting and historical topics that fall under the umbrella of nuclear chemistry.
Included is an introductory powerpoint on pop culture references to nuclear chemistry and radioactivity...this always elicits interest and hooks the students! (think Spiderman, the Hulk, the Simpsons, etc.!)
For the blog project, students each choose a topic from a list of 25 topics that are related to the field of nuclear chemistry, including: dealing with nuclear waste, radioisotopes in medicine, Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island meltdowns, food irradiation, radiocarbon dating, radioisotopes in spacecraft, nuclear disarmament, and many more! Each student researches his or her topic and writes a detailed blog post to explain the topic to other students.
The platform that I use to set up the class blog is EDUBLOGS.ORG. I have experimented with other sites, but I think that this one is the best. I have included detailed instructions for setting up and customizing the blog so that it perfectly fits the directions, rubric, and follow-up activity for this project.
Once each student has published his or her blog post, the students complete a follow-up activity that includes two parts: a "blogquest" to search for specific information in other students' posts, and making positive comments and giving feedback to other students through the "comments" function on the blog site. As the administrator of the blog, you have complete control over what posts and comments get published, so there is no chance of someone writing something inappropriate!
My students LOVE doing this project. They are innately interested in these topics and they tell me that they learn so much in this format!
Included in this product download:
• detailed teacher notes for setting up the blog and facilitating this project
• introductory powerpoint on Pop Culture References to Nuclear Chemistry
• student blog project directions and blog sign-in instructions
• grading rubric
• list of 25 nuclear chemistry topics
• follow-up Blogquest activity including 22 questions for the students to find answers to on the class blog
This project meets the following NGSS standards:
Science & Engineering Practices: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information--Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs. Communicate scientific ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically).
Disciplinary Core Ideas: PS1.C: Nuclear Processes—Spontaneous radioactive decays follow a characteristic exponential decay law. Nuclear lifetimes allow radiometric dating to be used to determine the ages of rocks and other materials. Nuclear processes, including fusion, fission, and radioactive decays of unstable nuclei, involve release or absorption of energy. The total number of neutrons plus protons does not change in any nuclear process.
Thanks for looking!