Radioactive Decay

This Radioactive Decay activity & project also includes:

Future physicists will be elated as they engage in a demonstration of radioactive decay that uses balloons and pennies. Balloons represent atomic particles and the students themselves are the atoms. After each flip of the coin, some of them decay. The number is recorded for the class each time so that they can graph the results. A simple, but visual, activity will make an impression on your class.

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Pros

  • Releasing balloons and flipping coins adds to the fun factor
  • Class participation helps reinforce concepts
Cons

  • No scaffolding or background information provided; make sure to teach radioactive decay concepts as part of the lesson