Navigating Nuclear: Bringing it home

May 26, 2020, 11:03AMANS News

American Nuclear Society members who are parent­ing K–12 students have been drafted to serve as home ed­ucators during the COVID-19 pandemic. While schools may have provided e-learning resources, the school year is at an end. How can concerned parents prevent the dreaded summer slide?

Here’s our suggestion: turn to Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World, ANS’s K–12 curriculum devel­oped in partnership with Discovery Education, and teach nuclear chem­istry! Even if you live apart from the children in your life, consider using Zoom to introduce Navigating Nuclear to children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Navigating Nuclear offers inquiry-based lessons, STEM Project Starters, and virtual field trips. Nearly all Navi­gating Nuclear activities can be adapt­ed to the home setting. (If you happen to have a Geiger counter handy, count yourself lucky—you can complete the Measuring Radiation lesson as well.)

Every component of Navigating Nu­clear comes with an Educator’s Guide that provides background on the topic, the essential questions being asked, and the objective of the lesson. Even if you’ve never taught before, the Educa­tor’s Guide can lead you, step-by-step, through a lesson.

ANS Education Specialist Janice Lindegard has some advice for parents trying this at home:

  • Read through the entire Educator’s Guide before trying to teach a lesson.
  • Look through any PowerPoints and watch embedded videos before teach­ing the lesson.
  • Resist the urge to lecture. Resist it with all your might. It makes the les­son less interesting to the students and guides the students’ thinking, which prevents them from making connections and discoveries on their own. The ideas that students come up with are often insightful and may even be an opportunity for the teacher to learn.
  • Don’t be restricted by the grade-level suggestions. The materi­als—and especially the STEM Project Starters—can be used for a variety of grade levels.
  • Don’t try to speed up the timeline. Each item is broken down into what to do on each day. Trying to fit it all into one day risks students losing interest and not learning as thoroughly.
  • The virtual field trips can be used as outlined in the accompanying Edu­cator Guides, or they can be shown in short, pre-divided segments to accom­pany other lessons.

Visit Navigating Nuclear today, and have fun exploring with your students!

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