Summer SAVY 2019: Session 1, Day 3 – Nuclear Science and Energy (Rising 5th/6th)
So many surprises! After a warm-up and review of ALL the science we’ve learned the last few days, we have a chance to learn about nuclear power plants! Our visitor, a civil engineer who works with nuclear power plants came by to share her work with us. We compared the risks, hazards, and perceptions of nuclear power by the general population, and those who take a systematic approach to understanding and studying this field (including us). Thanks to our guest engineer, we are so much more able to compare and contrast what we know about nuclear power and other forms of power generation.
We then got to take a look at the innards of the nuclear power plant. While using a BBC video (from the “Bang Goes the Theory” series) to provide a… “boiled down” version of what goes on in a nuclear reactor core that turns a turbine. We also used a nuclear fission simulator to show what happens to the fissile uranium-235 that can under a chain reaction. It’s this chain reaction, combined with control rods, that allows nuclear engineers to maintain the proper amount of energy exchange so that the power plant continues to work properly. We had a great time today, and I am excited to see what else we can learn about nuclear power!