Lesson Plan: Nuclear Waste
In this lesson, students learn about the complexities associated with nuclear waste disposal.
Recycle Rally has partnered with EcoRise to bring you comprehensive, hands-on lessons focused on waste and recycling for grades K-12. This nuclear waste lesson will challenge your students to weigh the positives and negatives of nuclear energy. Access the free lesson plan by clicking on the link below!
Lesson 4.3: It’s Hazardous!
In this lesson written for grades 5-6, students investigate a particularly difficult type of waste to manage: nuclear waste. Nuclear power provides many people around the world with a relatively cheap source of electricity with much less air pollution than electricity generated from fossil fuels. Where to store nuclear wastes, however, is not an easy issue to solve. Students explore the complexities of this controversial global issue by reviewing some basic facts, conducting a simulation, and then discussing their thoughts and feelings. They have opportunities in this lesson to build an understanding of how one type of system—nuclear energy—is built to support humans. They also begin thinking about priorities in creating systems to support human civilizations now and for future generations. Students are also challenged to think about how their personal actions contribute to the need for energy and how sustainable thought could create new solutions.
Estimated time needed: 50 minutes
All lessons are mapped to CCSS, NGSS, EFS, and TEKS standards.
Students will be able to…
- List advantages of nuclear energy.
- List disadvantages of nuclear waste.
- Explain some of the complexities associated with nuclear waste disposal.
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Ready to explore another challenging waste stream with your students? Check out our e-waste lesson plan.