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All over the country, classroom, workplaces, and communities are recognizing the contributions of nuclear science. This space is dedicated to their efforts. Thanks for sharing why National Nuclear Science Week is important to you!

Nuclear Science outreach: every way and everywhere

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) at Michigan State University, and the outreach team for the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics are busy. We have tons of ongoing projects, of which this week is a great example.

Monday: two tours of NSCL. Community groups, often schools, are always welcome to visit NSCL by appointment. Middle-school and high-school students from Alma, MI came by in the morning, while dozens of MSU students from the “Science, Technology, and Society” course attended the afternoon. Tours always include an in-depth explanation of why and how NSCL accelerates, smashes, and studies nuclei, followed by a guided walkthrough to see the research area: http://www.nscl.msu.edu/teachersstudents/outreach/tours.

Tuesday: talking about nuclear science graduate programs and careers at Impression 5, the Lansing science museum. Expecting dozens of students. Afterwards, we’ll smash JINA’s marble “nuclei” models with homemade accelerators to learn more about rare isotope research.

Thursday: speak at a Junior Achievement “Career Day” in Grand Rapids, MI about opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). NSCL (and major laboratories in general) employs a broad variety of people with diverse backgrounds… nuclear science requires collaboration among many different specialties! And since we can, we’ll smash JINA’s marble “nuclei”.

Friday: putting the final touches on a new version of JINA’s “marble nuclei lesson,” a series of activities designed to make nuclear science more hands-on in the pre-college classroom. To date, over 200 teachers have been trained to use this lesson, while 100 more have downloaded the free lesson plans at http://www.jinaweb.org/outreach/marble.

Happy Nuclear Science Week, everyone!