Summer SAVY Session 3, Day 4 – Fission and Fusion: Nuclear Engineering 101
Day 4: Good evening, SAVY students and parents! Day 4 was a wonderful day!! The nuclear engineers began their day by constructing a BINGO board to review new vocabulary words that we have learned these past few days. They were great-looking boards, and we had so many winners! This was a HUGE hit! Next, we completed a nuclear fission simulation lab. Students were able to simulate fission using rubbing alcohol, water, and cooking oil. When these substances combine, we were able to create small “globs of atoms” to try and split with a butter-spreading utensil. Students completed the lab and then discussed how this represented the splitting of atoms that causes nuclear fission energy to be released. What a great whole group discussion!
After our lab, we watched a short video on fission and fusion to gain a better understanding of isotopes and how they are a huge part of nuclear energy. We had another brilliant whole-group discussion about something they each learned from the video. During our lunch hour, we had inclement weather so we went to a computer lab in the same building as the cafeteria and had a blast playing online energy games. When we returned to our classroom, we learned more about nuclear power plant disasters and their impact on the environment. The nuclear engineers then created a map of nuclear power plants in the United States and discussed the unique patterns we observed in our country.
Tomorrow, we will complete a lab on radioactive waste and decay and take an even closer look at the Chernobyl Disaster. We will end our day with our last friendly debate on nuclear energy: friend or foe.
We ended the day with another short dance party! It was a great day!
Have a restful evening! See you tomorrow!
Shelley Jenkins and Joshua Knight