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Nuclear Chemistry Web Quest
By Mrs. Kurzman & Mrs. Towle
“Nuclear chemistry is the most powerful and misunderstood topic in chemistry. The
mention of the word nuclear puts most people in fear and their first and sometimes only
picture is that of a nuclear explosion. What comes first to your mind when the term
nuclear chemistry is brought up? Are the bomb, nuclear power and radiation poisoning
the only things nuclear chemistry has to offer?” (Ref 1).
Completing this quest will allow you to understand many aspects of nuclear chemistry
while also working with your classmates to determine your stance on a specific use of
nuclear chemistry in our world.
There are many applications of nuclear chemistry today. Here is a list of a portion of
Food and Agriculture
Food Preservation and Treatment
The end result of your quest will be a persuasive argument for or against a specific
use of nuclear chemistry in our world.
This will be a group project.
Each group will contain 4 to 5 people.
Your persuasive argument can be in any written form. For example, your group may
choose to do a pamphlet, a newspaper article, an essay, or any other written form of
communication you choose.
After you have written your persuasive argument, your group will present it to the
The first task your group should compete is deciding which group members will do
the research about the history of nuclear chemistry and which members will do the
research about your specific topic. You should give a written account of what
research each group member is responsible for to Mrs. Towle and/or Mrs. Kurzman.
All research will be handed in with your final project.
The second task your group should complete is the research for your paper. This
should be separated into two portions:
Research about the history of nuclear chemistry. This must include:
♦ The scientists involved in the advancement of nuclear chemistry
♦ Stable vs. unstable nuclei
♦ Types of radiation emitted during nuclear reactions
♦ Nuclear Fission vs. Nuclear Fusion (Compare and contrast these two
Research about the specific use of nuclear chemistry your group will focus
on. Pick a topic listed in the introduction section or find another use of nuclear
chemistry in our world. You should research the following about your topic:
♦ What are the nuclear reactions involved in this use of nuclear
♦ What is the purpose of this use of nuclear chemistry in our world?
♦ What are the benefits of this use of nuclear chemistry in our world?
♦ What are the detriments of this use of nuclear chemistry in our world?
The third task your group should complete is the deciding which stance you will take
on this particular use of nuclear chemistry in our world. Are you for or against this
particular use of nuclear chemistry in our world? Why?
The fourth task your group should complete is writing your persuasive argument.
Decide which format you would like to use to present your stance. Refer to
the introduction section for examples of types of written formats you can use.
Write your history portion of your argument.
Write an introduction to your particular use of nuclear chemistry in our world.
Write your persuasive argument section.
You must use valid evidence to support your descriptions and arguments.
Remember, any and all thoughts or ideas formed by someone else must be
cited appropriately. A references section must be included in your pamphlet.
Please refer to the citation in the introduction section and this section of this
web quest as an example of how to properly cite someone else’s ideas and/or
Your last task will be to present your persuasive argument to the class and hand in
the final project to Mrs. Towle and Mrs. Kurzman.
The previous ideas are adapted from the Task section of Ref 1.
The following resources are a good starting point for your research:
Nuclear Chemistry: An Introduction
Nuclear Chemistry in your Home
Medicine - diagnosis
Scientific Analysis Techniques
Food and Agriculture
1. Nuclear Chemistry WebQuest at
Retrieved on April 18, 2006.