The ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information joined forces with Discovery Education (DE), whose digital platform is subscribed to by nearly 50% of U.S. schools. This program presents materials and resources for educators who wish to engage with their students in the exciting and vital world of nuclear.
The Navigating Nuclear program materials were created to ensure that Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were met. Currently, NGSS have been adopted by almost 20 states in the U.S. These standards were designed with a goal of improving students’ scientific literacy. Via the new program, students will learn that nuclear technology does a lot more than provide energy. It is used daily in healthcare, helps us to reach the depths of space, and so much more.
Beginning the fall of 2018, the middle school level (grades 6-8) materials will be in classrooms that subscribe to the DE platform the information is online for anyone to view and use. Two digital lesson plans and three STEM project starters are ready to get students learning about everything from atoms to stars. The plans include complete educator guides with simple material lists and detailed direction. There are also presentations for the students. The STEM project starters foster a deeper level of understanding of various aspects of nuclear technology. One of the tools online currently is a project starter From Atoms to Electricity, where students learn how a nuclear power plant actually changes energy from one form to another. Divided into teams and given specific tasks, students will engage with the material presented and emerge with an understanding of the process through the use of these innovative project starters – all downloadable for free.
Another section of the Navigating Nuclear site focuses on Nuclear Careers – and thus helps answer the question: What job could I have in this field? Inevitably, it will come up during the discussions fostered by these new materials.
Coming in October of 2018, there will also be an exciting Virtual Field Trip (VFT), a tour of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station – the largest generating power plant in the USA. Palo Verde hosts three nuclear reactors and is among the top performers of the plants in the country.
In fall 2019 and fall 2020, respectively, curricula for high school and elementary (K-5) grades will also be introduced into subscribing school systems and made available for all on navigatingnuclear.com.