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Radioactive Decay Teacher Resources
Find teacher approved Radioactive Decay educational resource ideas and activities
Mmmmm! Radioactive "candium!" Nuclear physics or chemistry classes use M&M'S® to demonstrate the process of radioactive decay. Individuals pour out a bag of candies and record the number that fall M-side-up to represent the number of atoms that have decayed. They repeat the process several times, removing decayed atoms. There are a data table, analysis questions, and a graphing assignment included. Of course, your young scientists will want to eat the candy when they are finished!
In this radioactive decay and half-life worksheet, students use given half-lifes to calculate the amount of time it will take for certain amounts of elements to decay. They also find the age of samples and determine how many grams of samples will remain in a given amount of time.
High schoolers describe how the mass of a radioactive isotope changes with time and the factors that affect the rate of radioactive decay. They write nuclear decay equations to represent natural transmutation. This activity is accomplished using pennies to represent isotopes.
Young scholars simulate radioactive decay and nuclear power using an on line interactive web site. In this on line lesson plan, students monitor radioactive isotopes and record the activity of a particular element as the decay progresses. They answer 4 questions about radiation levels, emission levels and the risk of exposure. Young scholars play the role of a nuclear power plant operator trying to make the most power without letting the plant melt down.
Physical science learners model radioactive decay by conducting a probability experiment with pennies. They record what occurs in a data table that they create, and then graph the results. The lesson plan includes clearly-written procedures for the teacher and students, handouts, examples, reference links and more!