Submitted by mike knapp / UMASS on Sun, 06/26/2011 - 10:10
My Notes
Course Level

This is written for a freshman seminar course, "Nuclear Chemistry and Medicine," open to all majors.  It meets once per week for one hour, and is meant to facilitate the transition into college for first-year students by providing an informal educational experience. 

In order to facilitate participation, I break down the daily topic into smaller parts, and make student groups responsible for that part. Each class meeting will consist of a mix of brief student presentations and discussion.  Break students into groups of 3-4 students. Assign one sub-topic to each student group; each group presents to the class for ~10 minutes.

Learning Goals

Explain the effects of ionizing radiation on matter

Compare potential uses of radioactivity

Identify radioactive elements on the periodic table

Compare the significance of Marie Curie’s two Nobel prizes

Equipment needs

Computer with presentation equipment and a display screen.

Implementation Notes

Assign one sub-topic to each student group; each group presents for <10 minutes.


Summary of 1903 Physics Nobel prize

Summary of 1911 Chemistry Nobel prize

Charitable work


Evaluation Methods

Peer and faculty evaluation. Each student answers a two-part question:

How did your contributions influence learning for the class? How did the contributions of another student influence your learning?

Exit quiz: Propose 10 uses of radioactivity. Faculty can provide summary of the results to the class, and suggest further commentary. A follow-up question might be: How are these uses are beneficial?

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