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Summer SAVY Session 3, Day 3 – Fission and Fusion: Nuclear Engineering 101

Posted by on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 3:  Good evening SAVY students and parents! Day 3 was an absolute blast! The nuclear engineers began the day by making a creative model of their own nuclear power plant. They had to draw, label specific parts, and color their plant. Students were so thoughtful, creative, and precise with their designs. We had another gallery walk, so everyone could leave thoughtful insights or compliments on each design.  We then did a lab using dominoes and rulers to mimic nuclear chain reactions. Each group carefully set their dominoes in a specific pattern and used a ruler to knock over a certain point in the structure. We discussed how the energy can be increased or decreased depending on where the ruler was placed and how many dominoes fell with each trial. Next, we had a friendly debate on the pros and cons using specific scenarios on whether to keep the power plants or if they needed to be stopped! So many great discussions came from this activity. After our discussions, we took more doodle notes on nuclear fission/fusion and were able to take a deeper look at the difference between them. We also practiced understanding and writing more isotopic scientific notations. This then led us to the introduction of atomic bombs and nuclear power plant disasters. We watched a short video on Hiroshima and the Chernobyl disaster. We will begin investigating and exploring more into historical disasters from nuclear energy tomorrow!

We ended the day playing a nuclear fusion game on the iPad from the NASA website for kids. Needless to say, they loved this!! Fun was had by all!!

Have a restful evening! I am looking forward to tomorrow! 🙂

Shelley Jenkins and Joshua Knight