Eric Smith-Nuclear Chemistry

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Below is an outline of each day of the lesson with a brief description.

Session #1: Introduction to Nuclear Chemistry

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define nuclide and nucleon.
  • Students will be able to explain (written) how nuclear forces hold the neutron and protons together in the nucleus.
  • Students will be able to define nuclear reaction.
  • Given a Periodic Table of Elements, students will be able to give three examples of elements which have a radioactive nuclide.
  • Students will be able to recall the nuclide formula (verbally and written) for the four types of radioactive particles (alpha, beta, positron, gamma).
  • Students will be able to list the materials that can block the three most common radioactive particles (alpha, beta, and gamma) can penetrate.

Agenda #1

  • PowerPoint (Nuclear Chemistry Introduction: Types of Radiation)
  • Complete Questions 1-5 from the Nuclear Chemistry Worksheet
  • Read Pages 680-692 in Modern Chemistry Textbook

Work to be Completed by the Student

  • Read pages 680-692 in Modern Chemistry Textbook
  • Complete Questions 1-5 from the Nuclear Chemistry Worksheet

Explanation of Lesson
This lesson will consist of an instructor led PowerPoint discussion introducing students to the three main particles of nuclear chemistry (alpha, beta and gamma). It will introduce the main vocabulary terms and give the students a chance to read the material and practice recalling the information using select problems from a Guided Practice Worksheet. The answer key will be posted to allow the students the opportunity to check their own work.

Session #2: Nuclear Transformations and Half-Life

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to define half-life.
  • Given the half-life and beginning mass of a radioactive substance, the students will be able to calculate the remaining amount of the radioactive material.
  • Given the time and the change in mass of the radioactive material, the student will be able to calculate the half-life of the radioactive substance.
  • Given the initial mass, the final mass, and the half-life, the student will be able to calculate the amount of time for radioactive decay to the final mass.
  • Students will be able to explain (written) how half-lives can be used to date living and non-living items on Earth.
  • Given a Periodic Table of Elements, students will be able to list the Transuranium elements.
  • Given a word problem describing a transmutation reaction, the student will be able write a balanced nuclear equation written in nuclide form.

Agenda #2

  • PowerPoint (Nuclear Transformations and Half-Life)
  • Complete Questions 6-12 from the Nuclear Chemistry Worksheet
  • Read pages 693-699 in Modern Chemistry Textbook

Work to be Completed by the Student

  • Read pages 693-699 in Modern Chemistry
  • Complete Questions 6-12 from the Nuclear Chemistry Worksheet
  • Perform the Half-Life Laboratory
  • Prepare for quiz (Specifically nuclear particles, nuclear equations, and half-life calculations.)

Explanation of Lesson
The lesson will begin with a PowerPoint discussing the Trandformation reactions and half-life of nuclear isotopes. This will lead to practice with solving half-life problems and how scientists use half-lifes of radioactive iostopes to date living and non-living items. Because there needs to be a deep understanding of half-life, a lab will be perfomred by the students and they will post their laboratory findings on a Wiki page which will allow others to see trends in nuclear decay. This will show students the importance of sharing scientific information.

The students will also perform practice problems and check their answers to make sure they understand the material. To determine if they are understanding the material, there will be a quiz taking the following class to determine their level of competency with the content.

Session #3: Nuclear Chemistry for Power

Objectives

  • Students will be able to explain the use of radioactive nuclide in medicine, agriculture, and production of electricity.
  • Student will be able to describe the process of creating energy through fission.
  • Students will be able to describe the process of creating energy through fusion.

Agenda #3

  • PowerPoint (Nuclear Power: Fission and Fusion)
  • Activity: Calculating Your Yearly Radiation Dose
    • Work to be Completed by the Student
  • Review pages 680-699
  • Complete Questions 13-14 from the Nuclear Chemistry Worksheet
  • Research the application of nuclear chemistry in your life which makes it better. Post your findings on the Blog with link to your information. Comment on three other posts.
  • Explanation of Lesson
    This lesson will focus on the use of radioacitve material for electricity. Along with learning about nuclear energy, students will find other practical application of nuclear chemistry. They will research a topic using the Internet and then post their findings on a Blog. Once students have posted their finds on the Blog every student will comment on three other posts. This will increase the chance of interaction by allowing students to ask questions or possibly bring in connections from their own findings.