Radioactive Decay Teacher Resources
Find Radioactive Decay educational ideas and activities
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Pupils demonstrate rates of decay of unstable nuclei can be measured. They understand ratios and multiplication of fractions. They simulate radioactive decay. They read about the accomplishments of scientists.
Students generate a radioactive decay table for an imaginary element using a box filled with pinto beans and M&M's. They use their data to plot a decay graph, develop the concept of half-life, and use the graph to "age" several samples.
Eleventh graders research how geologic time can be estimated by observing rock sequences and using fossils to correlate these sequences. They examine relative dating and then model radioactive decay in fossils.
Students generate a radioactive decay table for an imaginary element, use their data to plot a decay graph, develop the concept of half-life, and use the graph to "age" several samples.
Students explore radioactive decay. Through various activities, students examine methods for permanent disposal of radioactive waste. After performing a random process experiment, students compare the results to radioactive decay. They answer discussion questions regarding a demonstration of of material.
Young scholars observe a model of radioactive decay using paper and then consider various related issues.
Students investigae using radioactive decay to determine geologic age.
Learners investigate the age of the earth by using accepted scientific methods. They conduct research about the use of radioactive dating and there is a simulation activity of the process. Finally, students measure the radioactive decay of actual rocks to estimate the actual age of the earth.
Students conduct a simulation to determine radioactive decay and half-life. Using pennies, dice or sugar cubes as isotopes placed in shoe boxes simulating rocks, they hold five trials representing 1000 years each to find the theoretical age for the remaining specimens that have not "decayed."
Students identify the importance of studying exponential decay. In this quadratic functions lesson plan, students simulate radioactive decay in small groups. Students also present the results found in the investigation and explain why an exponential decay function is an exponential function.
Seventh graders model radioactive decay using pennies, collect data from their model, apply scientific visualization techniques to their data and create animated models explaining the concept of radioactive half-life.
Students use a video, the Internet and hands-on activities to explore how to determine the age of rocks and fossils based on radioactive decay data.
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!
Students find maps of the region to show rock formations and soil types and use GIS to compare radon levels. They describe three types of radioactive decay, interpret graphs, and follow steps to develop a nuclear bomb or energy.
In this radioactive decay and half-life activity, 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.
Students 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 explore what radioactive decay is and are able to relate it to the concept of half-life. They are given 100 green beads that represent radioactive atoms and 100 white beads that represent stable, non-radioactive daughter atoms. The green beads are placed in one cup and the white beads in another. They are asked to do two trials, one sampling 8 beads and the other sampling 4 beads at a time.
Students demonstrate radioactive decay using candy corns. For this Physics lesson, students make predictions, collect data and form conclusions about patterns in radioactive decay.
Starting with a recap of atomic structure, these slides continue by comparing different isotopes of uranium and explaining which are stable and which have a decay period and emit alpha or beta particles. Gamma decay is just mentioned on the last slide, but the multiple clear diagrams should really clarify the understanding of alpha and beta radioactive decay.
Through the use of an interactive Web site, students explore C-14 and C-14 dating. Then students analyze an article written about the C-14 dating of the Shroud of Turin and draw conclusions.