Back to Projects

Nuclear Decay

School: Harborside Academy

City/State: Kenosha, WI

Grade(s): 10

Format(s): Poster: Informational

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Technology

Project Overview

These projects were created by tenth grade students at Harborside Academy in Kenosha, Wisconsin as part of a learning expedition called World of Conflict.

This assignment was one of the Algebra 2/Trigonometry components of a learning expedition that spanned all subjects. Students used exponential equations and logarithms to study the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan, which was damaged by an earthquake in March, 2011. In chemistry classes, students were studying chemical reactions and the alpha, beta, or gamma emissions that result from these reactions. This math project builds on that work and asks students to calculate the strength of the earthquake and how long it will take the nuclear substances to decay to a safe level so that civilians can move back into the area surrounding the plant. After conducting their research, students created and solved their equations, and used a computer program to create informational flyers with their conclusions.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Highlights a high school-level math project
  • Combination of flyer design and math challenges students both creatively and academically.
  • Unusual example of interdisciplinary collaboration at an upper high school level
  • Compelling example of making math come alive, by embedding with it within a real-world event that happened during students’ lifetime.

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • EL has not created long-term learning targets for WHST standards.
Back to Projects