14 Jul 2014

The Japan syndrome

Literature Discussion

Submitted by Carmen Gauthier, Florida Southern College

This is an in-class discussion of an article that appeared in The Economist.  It can be used to review several topics covered in the first year chemistry class.

Learning Goals: 

In answering these questions students will be able to:

Articulate how fission work

Use the periodic table to predict properties

Compare and contrast units of radiation

Apply their understanding of nuclear chemistry to nuclear disasters.

Evaluate scientific evidence publish in non-scientific publications

Implementation Notes: 

This is a literature discussion activity for a second semester general chemistry course, I have also used this paper in an environmental insights and investigation course in the Honors Program at my school.

Students get the assignment two days prior to the class discussion.

Time Required: 
30-40 minutes
Evaluation Methods: 

I use this assignment as a review and to expose students to science contents in non-scientific publications.  In the honors course I used in an exam question:

  1. In your opinion, was the flooding of the nuclear plant [in “The Japan Syndrome”] effective? Explain why or why not. (a copy of the paper was attached to the exam)
Evaluation Results: 

I will collect data in the futue

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence

The VIPEr community supports respectful and voluntary sharing. Click here for a description of our default Creative Commons license.