Nuclear Physics Kids

We work with a great many employers from a diverse range of outside industries and encourage them to come in on a regular basis to engage and interact with our learners. This helps bring to life what they are learning – marrying the theory with the practice – and giving them more of an opportunity to detect which sectors they may want to go in to when they finish their studies.

Our Year 11 learners have recently been working with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) on their employer-led projects in Science, Maths and English. Rob Whittleston, our industry partner from the NNL, introduced the cross-curricular project in his recent Masterclass. In their follow-up science lessons, leaners will be undertaking a challenge to complete a series of tasks and present a report about radioisotopes, half-life calculations, nuclear equations and their safe handling / disposal, based on work they have been doing both in their science lessons and in NNL’s Masterclass. 


Rob and the teachers will be judging and awarding prizes for the best reports. In Maths, learners will be plotting graphs of exponential decays of radioisotopes and using them to determine half-life. In their English lessons, they will be researching and debating the following controversial statement: “Nuclear power is the only viable option for generating enough clean energy to meet demand in the future” with the most compelling arguments being awarded the greatest prizes, which entices the learners to work just that little bit harder!

One learner expressed his fascination with the concept: “I learned about an underground experiment that Rob performed so that he could measure the distance travelled by a radioactive particle. He had to stay underground in the lab for days at a time!” Matas, Year 11.

Another learner stated, “I was really interested to find out about all of the careers available in the nuclear industry – with excellent opportunities in the UK – outside of the ones that we most commonly think of.” Nathaniel, year 11.

Head of Science,  Adam Masheter was impressed with how eagerly the learners got stuck in. “The learners and staff were all really engaged, and the presentation was perfect. 

They completed the science follow up task set very enthusiastically, and even straight away in their revision sessions and many used the ideas about safety and disposal issues. I’m really proud of them.”

In these photographs of the Masterclass, Rob captures our learners’ attention by using chocolate bars being halved by a line of learners to demonstrate the concept of half-life and radioactive decay.

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