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Lesson Plans & Resources

Welcome! The National Nuclear Science Week endeavors to provide a rich assortment of curriculum assistance. The following activities are ready to use in your classroom.

Energy Solutions Foundation has provided a number of these lesson plans, which will provide you with step-by-step ways to teach the fundamentals of nuclear science.


EL appropriate for grades 3-5
MS appropriate for grades 6-8
HS appropriate for grades 9-12
CL appropriate for students in college or beyond

Get to Know Nuclear

The Atomic Nucleus  HS
Atoms are all around us. What exactly is in them? This PowerPoint presentation can help your students learn about radioactivity.

The Nuclear Wall Chart  MS, HS
The Nuclear Science Division together with CPEP (The Contemporary Physics Education Project) have produced the Nuclear Science Wall Chart. You can order classroom materials and request reproduction rights for printed materials.

Radioactive Decay
Tearing Through a Half-Life  MS, HS
Teach students what the term “half-life” really means. A great kinesthetic activity.

Nuclear Popcorn MS, HS
A great edible activity for teaching students about radioactive decay.

Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Oh My! HS
Help your students understand how a radioactive element progressively decays to eventually create a stable atom.

Radioactive Decay  MS, HS
Teach students about radioactive decay through this kinesthetic activity.

Radioactive Decay Chains HS
Help your students understand how alpha, beta, and gamma decay effect an atom’s structure.

Nuclear Energy

Safe and Reliable Nuclear Energy MS, HS
This PowerPoint presentation is an overview of radiation and the uses of radiation. It gives students a good foundation of the pros and cons of using nuclear energy.

The Environment and the Generation of Electricity MS, HS
How is energy produced and used? What are the costs of renewable and other forms of energy?

Nuclear Clean Air Facts MS, HS
This handout is an excellent overview of FAQs regarding nuclear energy, its consumption, costs, and environmental footprint.

The Fission Game  EL, MS
Visually demonstrate to your students how a nuclear chain reaction works.

Nuclear Safety

Radioactive Waste Disposal  EL, MS, HS
Have your students participate in this simulated activity to learn appropriate disposal procedures for radioactive waste.

Calculate Your Radiation Dose
How Much Radiation?   MS, HS
In the lesson, you can help your students learn common sources of radiation. Help students calculate their annual radiation exposure.

Estimate your Personal Annual Radiation Dose MS, HS
Use this worksheet to calculate your annual radiation exposure from common sources such as medical procedures, the sun, daily activities, and foods.

Calculate your Radiation Dose  MS, HS
An web version of the annual radiation dosage worksheet. 

Nuclear & Society

Mock Senate  HS
Have your students hold a mock Senate to debate the concerns and benefits of current energy issues.

Perception of Risk  MS, HS
Many people’s perception of the risk of nuclear energy and radiation exposure is vastly different than the actual risk. This lesson is a great way to introduce the real risks associated with nuclear energy and radiation exposure.