Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Sub Image2:Macro to Micro Structures
1) Atoms and Molecules2) Macro to Micro Structures 3) Energetics and Dynamics
4) Theory and Practice in Chemical Systems5) Chemical Design6) The Chemistry of Life7) Chemistry and the Environment8) Chemistry at the Interface

Unit 3.7 Nuclear Power
Original version: The importance of nuclear power and its uses are discussed. Students' ideas, as well as scientific theories, are presented.
Video program cues: 44:05 — 57:05

About nuclear power

Students’ Ideas

"When I think of it, I think of a nuclear bomb."

"I know that nuclear is like real power."

"Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and emissions."

Johnson, J. (2001)' Terrorism and Nuclear Power, 'Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 79, No. 41, pp: 24-25.

Nuclear submarine class

Michael Clarke brings Dr. Victor Smith a nuclear submarine expert to class to lecture about real-world application of nuclear power in fission reactors and solar fusion



Olbris, D.J.; Herzfeld, J. (1999)' Nucleogenesis! A Game with Natural Rules for Teaching Nuclear Synthesis and Decay, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 76, No. 3, pp: 349-352.

Crippen, K.J.; Curtright, R.D. (1998)' Modeling Nuclear Decay: A Point of Integration between Chemistry and Mathematics, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 75, No. 11, pp: 1434-1437.

Chemistry or physics?

Teachers’ forum

"I also teach physics, and what I tell the students is that atoms do not know that we humans have decided this is chemistry, this is physics, and this is biology. Atoms do whatever they do, and we study them and once we look at the same phenomena it doesn’t matter what we call our course, the phenomena is the same. The explanation is either logical or it isn’t. So why call the explanation physics, chemistry or biology? Because the explanation must be the same if it is a logical explanation of everything that we’ve observed. So I tell them: Be careful with these labels: physics, chemistry and biology, they really don’t mean as much as we would like to pretend that they do."

Dr. Michael Clarke
Duke Ellington School for the Arts, Washington D.C.

"I think that it’s important that the kids see the connection between the sciences. I think we do it a service in this country by teaching them, supposedly, in isolation from each other and sub-divide them into all these little niches. I think it is really important that when we look at these things called physics, biology, and chemistry, many times we are looking at the same thing from different perspectives; its all interrelated. It’s all about understanding our universe and trying to make sense out of it. It’s just that chemists look at it in one way and physicists look at it another way. And in terms of energetics and dynamics, chemistry and physics are so tied together, that you cannot separate them."

Caryn Galatis
Thomas A. Edison High School, Virginia

Jansen-Varnum, S.A. (1997)' Our Microscopic Universe: An Interdisciplinary Course Examining Natural Phenomena Using Geology, Physics, and Chemistry, 'Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 74, No. 12, pp: 1411-1412.

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