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Classroom Visits - Middle School/Junior High

There are always many good reasons to offer a teacher your time for a classroom visit. Why not "celebrate" the birthday anniversary of a pioneer in the nuclear field? Highlight the contributions of a pioneer nuclear scientist or engineer and show how those discoveries contribute to our lives today! The ANS Outreach Department has suggested birthdays for March, April and May.

Printed materials about nuclear topics available from ANS Outreach.

Famous scientists and the not-as-famous made significant contributions to the development of nuclear science and technology. Their work helped shape the world of science and our lives today.

Think of ways to make your classroom visit and presentation a celebration...

  • If allowed, take enough cupcakes (from a commercial source) for all the students.
  • Post a banner with a birthday cake and the scientist's name and a key word or phrase related to their work.
  • Provide party hats?
  • Let your creativity add other ideas...

Otto Hahn
March 8, 1879
Credited as having discovered nuclear fission.
Otto Hahn received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944.

Information about Otto Hahn is available at:,Hall_of_Fame,Otto_Hahn

One biography is found at:

As part of your visit, you can focus on explaining fission and USING AN ACTIVITY to demonstrate the concept. (Don't be just a "talking head"; students will remember far more with activity and visual images.)
Briefly discuss how mankind's capability to harness fission for peaceful uses impacts modern life -- energy, medical applications of isotopes, etc.

Albert Einstein
March 14, 1879
Developed theory about relationship of mass and energy.
Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

Information about Albert Einstein is available at:,Hall_of_Fame,Albert_Einstein

One biography is found at:

Your presentation could focus on how he transformed physics with his well-known equation. You could discuss how this relates to nuclear science and technology. You could discuss how astronomical observations were required to support his theory and the difficulties involved in making the observations.
This provides a way to highlight the process of science.

Pierre Curie
May 15, 1859
Credited as having discovered radium and polonium while working with his wife, Marie Curie.
Pierre Curie received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 (along with Marie Curie).

Information about Pierre Curie is available at:,Hall_of_Fame,Marie_and_Pierre_Curie

One biography is found at:

Another useful biography is found at:

Your presentation about Pierre Curie could take several different directions.
You could focus on his work with radium. (See the biography at which mentions this.)
You could note how Pierre may not be as well known as Marie, yet he made significant contributions to nuclear science.
You could discuss the value of scientific collaboration like that of Pierre and Marie and his early work with his brother Jacques (piezoelectric effect).
You could also note that he made discoveries in regard to magnetic properties and their relationship to temperature changes.

Want More Names and Information?

Go to,Hall_of_Fame for the names of some other nuclear pioneers whose birthday anniversaries you might celebrate.

This Hall of Fame is part of the web site,, developed by the ANS Public Information Committee.

Get Materials for Your Classroom Visit

The ANS Outreach Department offers a variety of printed materials about nuclear science and technology. These materials are not focused on the individual pioneers; rather, they provide useful information about how nuclear science and technology impacts our lives today.

For materials, contact Outreach or phone 708-352-6611 and ask for the Outreach Department. (Allow 2-3 weeks for materials to arrive.)

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

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