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Driving Phenomenon: A spy is killed by Polonium-210 poisoning. Students try to figure out how this element could be used as a poison.

Download All Task Documents (.ZIP – 834KB)
Task Overview (.PDF – 385KB)
Student Version (.DOC – 97KB)
Teacher Guide (.PPT – 498KB)

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science and Next Generation Science Standards Learning Targets

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science

  • CHEM1.PS1.9: Draw models (qualitative models such as pictures or diagrams) to demonstrate understanding of radioactive stability and decay. Understand and differentiate between fission and fusion reactions. Use models (graphs or tables) to explain the concept of half-life and its use in determining the age of materials (such as radiometric dating).

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Developing and Using Models

    • High School Element: Develop and/or use multiple types of models to provide mechanistic accounts and/or predict phenomena, and move flexibly between model types (based on merits and limitations).
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    PS1C: Nuclear Processes

    • High School Element: Nuclear processes, including fusion, fission, and radioactive decays of unstable nuclei, involve release or absorption of energy. The total number of neutrons plus protons does not change in any nuclear process.
    • High School Element: Spontaneous radioactive decays follow a characteristic exponential decay law. Nuclear lifetimes allow radiometric dating to be used to determine the ages of rocks and other materials.
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Prediction

    • High School Element: Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
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The Tennessee District Science Network was funded by Arconic Foundation.

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