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Classroom Visits - High School

We've received some feedback suggesting that high school teachers may be a bit "possessive of their classroom time" because they are working very hard to accomplish the goals outlined in state and local curriculum requirements and measured by assessment tests.

Getting time to make a presentation at a high school chemistry, physics, or biology class may require a bit of finesse and advance planning. You may need to appeal to a teacher's self interest on the basis of providing outside input on a topic he or she will need to teach anyway. In that way, your proposed presentation becomes a supplement rather than a distraction.

Here are some suggestions:

  • develop a list of topics about which you might make a presentation
  • remember you plan to speak to high school students, not engineers
  • develop a brief plan for your potential presentation(s) including hands-on activities, if possible
  • contact a teacher well in advance
  • ask if there are topics about which the teacher would like a presentation, or suggest topics on which you could provide input:
  • think in terms of supplementing their curriculum, NOT capturing an hour to extol the benefits of nuclear energy (though you may include some of that information in your presentation or the printed materials you leave behind)
  • determine when your topics might fit into the teacher's schedule (some topics will be early in the school year, others will be later)
  • assess the teacher's interest and determine how many students you might speak with
  • try to set a tentative date and a time to confirm
  • finalize your presentation, including an activity if possible
  • determine if there are printed materials that ANS can provide to support your presentation
  • request the materials several weeks in advance using a Public Information Assistance Grant Request (PIA Grant Request)
  • if allowed by the school, consider using wrapped mints or something else as "rewards" for those students who ask questions or participate

Need Inspiration and Ideas?

You could focus your thinking and presentations on some of the key contributions made by nuclear pioneers, information about how they made their discoveries, and the impact of those discoveries on science and modern life. This type of information would provide historical perspective.

You could focus on topical considerations such as energy and how nuclear science and technology help provide clean energy. You could focus on the medical applications of radioisotopes. There are many possibilities!

A Helpful Resource

At http://www.aboutnuclear.org/view.cgi?fC=History,Hall_of_Fame you will find a list of some nuclear pioneers and a brief summary of their work. On the web page devoted to Junior High/Middle School Classroom visits, you will find some suggestions about topics to cover for specific pioneers. BUT, for high school students, we recommend focusing on the relevant curriculum content rather than celebrating a birthday!

Last updated June 27, 2012, 8:44am CDT.

 
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