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Middle School Resources

Guide your students through the world of nuclear energy and related fields with digital lesson plans, project starters, career resources, and more to power up the learning in your classroom!

Spark a reaction in your classroom with nuclear science! Start small by exploring an atom as the foundation for life and nuclear energy. Then, go big and learn how a collapsing star releases energy! Navigating Nuclear provides educators with standards-aligned resources to connect students to the many fact-based applications of nuclear processes. Students will use nuclear science principles to explore energy, medicine, geology, astronomy, and more!

Digital Lesson Plans

Complete with an educator guide and student activity sheets, it's easy to navigate the multi-faceted world of nuclear energy and other related fields in your classroom. Each lesson below begins with students examining misconceptions and facts about nuclear science which they use and build on as they explore real-word examples of the uses of nuclear power and measuring radiation.

Nuclear Energy

135-180 minutes

Students will explore the science behind nuclear power and apply what they learn to examine actual examples of the uses of nuclear power in electricity generation, space probes, and nuclear submarines.

Measuring Radiation

135-180 minutes

Through a series of investigations, students will explore the science behind measuring radiation and use what they learn to examine real-world uses of measuring radiation in detecting smoke in their homes, determining the properties of high-mass radioactive nuclei, and scanning shipments at seaports and airports. Educators can watch this short video to learn the best ways to implement the lesson plan resources in the classroom.

STEM Project Starters

These capstone learning experiences put STEM course concepts in action, allowing students to apply lessons learned in the classroom to real-world problems and discover their own solutions. Each STEM project starter contains a guiding question, teacher note, student-facing prompt, and station for students to show their work and share their findings.

From Atoms to Electricity

Types of Energy

How does the energy stored in an atom's nucleus transform into the electricity that powers our lives?

Students will create a model of a nuclear power plant and explain the energy transformation in different parts of a nuclear reactor.

Fusion and Fission: Think Nucleus

Our Solar System and Beyond

How could nuclear fusion and fission change the way we power our lives?

Students will research the feasibility, advantages, and challenges of compact fission and fusion reactors as a source of power on Earth. They will support their work using data and calculations.

Radiopharmaceuticals

Cells

How can a pill that uses radiation help doctors diagnose and treat diseases?

Students will research the uses of radiation in medicine and explore applications of radiation treatment. They will suggest how a radiopharmaceutical could be improved and propose an investigation to validate their design.

did you know

Did You Know?

Radiation helps us learn about our past!

It's all around us every day from the sun, our bodies, food, water, and the earth.

Explore careers in nuclear energy

What are the pathways towards a career in nuclear science? You may be surprised to find out that there are many ways to make an impact in healthcare, energy, and the environment by exploring a career in the nuclear field.

Virtual Field Trip

Join us as we go on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station and learn about the creation of environmentally friendly electrical power using nuclear technologies. Join the conversation on social media using #NavigatingNuclearVFT!