Radiation Energy     

Doris Watkins John Hope School
5500 S. Lowe
Chicago IL 60621
(312) 535-6176


This lesson is aimed at eighth grade students. They are to:
1. State that everything is made of atoms.
2. Explain that radiation energy is all around us and that it can be
measured even though it cannot be seen.
3. Understand several ways that radiation (from radioisotopes) helps us every
4. Relate that radiation may hurt us, but that we can protect ourselves
from this by shielding, time, and distance.

Materials Needed:

geiger counter aluminum foil
dosimeter a sheet of paper
poster of an atom beta sample
gamma sample lantern mantle sample
brick smoke detector


The first activity will be to use the dosimeter, which is used to test how much
radiation has been received in a day. The geiger counter will be used to test
how much radiation is in a room. Beta and gamma ray producing samples, and a
smoke detector will be used with the geiger counter. A poster showing a model
of an atom will also be used. The students will use a sheet of paper, a sheet
of aluminum foil, and a brick to show what type of things can be used to shield
them from alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.

Performance Assessment:

Students are to demonstrate what type of shielding will stop each of the various
radiations by using the geiger counter. Students are to identify the three
types of radiations.


Alpha, beta, and gamma radiation all come from the nucleus of the atom. Alpha
being weakest can be stopped by the hand. Beta can be stopped by using aluminum
foil. Gamma being the strongest can be stopped by lead or concrete. Radiation
has many risks and benefits.


Copyright 1991 Revised Edition. American Nuclear Society.
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