To Introduce the Subject of Radiation to the Year 11 Group You Must First Tell Them About


To Introduce the Subject of Radiation to the Year 11 Group You Must First Tell Them About

Waseley Hills High School
BTEC Level 1/2 First Award in Principles of Applied Science
Unit 3 Energy and Our Universe
Start Date:
Interim Deadline: Deadline Date:
Related Unit content:
Learning aim A: Understand ionising radiation, its uses and sources
The structure of nuclei. Alpha, beta and gamma radiations are emitted from unstable nuclei in a random process. An alpha particle is equivalent to a helium nucleus, a beta particle is an electron emitted from the nucleus and gamma rays are high-frequency electromagnetic waves. Ionising radiations cause atoms to gain or lose electrons to form ions. Penetration of Alpha, beta and gamma radiations. Effects of different radiations on living cells. Uses of ionising radiations. Investigate radioactive decay and half-life of radioactive isotopes in terms of reducing activity. Calculations involving half-life and their graphical representations. Nuclear fission and Nuclear fusion. Energy release by the process of controlled nuclear fission. Energy release by nuclear fusion in stars and the difficulty in harnessing energy from nuclear fusion on Earth. Environmental issues associated with nuclear energy.
Assignment A Using radiation
You have recently joined a local government organisation working in the educational sector. As a member of the science team, you have been asked to deliver a short lesson about radiation to year 11 learners during a visit to a large comprehensive school.
Many learners may be inspired by your talk and may consider studying science in the sixth form or pursue job opportunities in related areas. In order to prepare for the talk you will need to prepare notes and examples to help the learners understand and be motivated by the topic.
Task 1 What’s a half life? / RESOURCES
  1. To introduce the subject of radiation to the year 11 group you must first tell them about the particles in the atomic nucleus and half-life. Your notes would need to include the structure of the nucleus and simple diagrams. You should also include a brief definition of half-life and introduce the term ‘radioactive decay’. (2.A P1)
  2. Prepare a case study. For example, you could provide results obtained in a classroom simulation of radioactive decay principles together with additional research. Draw a graph and use it to help illustrate the main characteristics of the decay of radioactive isotopes. (2.A M1)
  3. Prepare a handout with examples and data tables, which ask the learners to calculate the half-life of commonly used radioactive isotopes by producing correctly plotted graphs of activity over time. (2.A D1)
  4. Prepare a leaflet which shows the properties and any other relevant characteristics of ionising radiations. (2.A P2)

Task 2 The good and bad of using isotopes / RESOURCES
Having told the year 11 learners about ionising radiation, you should now tell them about using these exciting but dangerous radioactive isotopes.
  1. Research the effect that ionising radiation from radioactive isotopes has on living cells. Use your research to prepare a powerpoint of the problems and dangers linked to use of radioactive isotopes (at least 2 problems outlined-radioactive tracers) (2.A P3)
  2. Produce a table showing the variety of uses of radioactive isotopes in devices at home and in the workplace. For each isotope include the advantages and disadvantages of using them. (2.A M2)
  3. Select one radioactive isotope and explain why the benefits of using that radioactive isotope outweigh the drawbacks. (2.A D2)

Task 3 Nuclear Energy
Having covered the theory and use of radioactive isotopes you should now introduce the use of radioactive isotopes in nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. The class may have heard of nuclear power stations and may be aware of the risks from them.
a) Produce a flow chart showing how fission reactions are controlled in a nuclear power station. Briefly describe what factors have to be precisely controlled in a fission reaction and why, in theory, a fusion reactor may be safer. Describe what happens in the sun. (2.A P4)
b) Prepare a case study, to be presented to the class, of a nuclear accident from a known nuclear power station and present a detailed report that highlights the effects of radioactive material on the environment. (2.A M3)
c) Research the radioactive isotopes that are likely to be involved in the nuclear power station and find details of their half-lives. Use this information to write a report discussing the long-term effects of the fission material on the environment and the possibility of future environmental recovery in terms of atmosphere, plants and animals. (2.A D3)
The grading criteria that this assignment relates to:
P1 / Describe half-life in terms of radioactive decay.
P2 / Describe the different types of ionising radiation.
M1 / Use graphs to explain radioactive decay and half-life
D1 / Calculate the half-life of radioactive isotopes.
P3 / Describe the problems associated with the use of radioactive isotopes.
M2 / Compare the benefits and drawbacks of using radioactive isotopes in the home or workplace.
D2 / Justify the selection of a radioactive isotope for a given use within the home or workplace.
P4 / Describe how controllable nuclear fission and fusion reactions are.
M3 / Describe the environmental impact of radioactive material from nuclear fission reactors released into the environment.
D3 / Evaluate the environmental impacts of a nuclear fission reactor accident, in terms of half-life.*
If you have not achieved the Level 2 criteria, your work will be assessed to determine if the following Level 1 criteria have been met.
To achieve the criteria you must show that you are able to: / Unit / Criterion reference
Describe the structure of atomic nuclei. / 3 / 1A.1
Identify the types of ionising radiation. / 3 / 1A.2
Identify the problems associated with the use of radioactive isotopes. / 3 / 1A.3
Describe nuclear fission and fusion. / 3 / 1A.4

Evidence you must produce for this task;

Level / Description / Checklist
2A.P2 / Picture of an atom with all label parts
Leaflet, which shows the properties and characteristics of ionising radiations. It must include
  1. A description of the type of radiation with a diagram
  2. Electric charge
  3. Relative atomic mass
  4. Penetrating power
  5. Ionizing effect
  6. If it is affect by a magnetic field
  7. The range in air.

A description of what radioactive decay is
A brief description of what half life is making sure you explain why radioactive decay reduces over time.
2A.P3 / Half life experiment table
Labelled graph with description of what half life is and how it could be worked out.
Implications of use for radioactive medical tracers.
2A.D1 / Example table for boron 12
Example table for radium 226
Description of how you worked out half life for each one
Graph for boron 12
Graph for radium 226
Worksheet for students on Uranium
2A.P3 / Description of how radiation affects living cells.
2A.M2 / Table completed for radiation and its uses
2A.D2 / Detailed description of one of the uses of radiation covered giving an overall conclusion as to why the benefits outweigh its drawbacks.
2A.P4 / A description of what happens during nuclear fission
A description of what a chain reaction is.
A description of how fission reactions can be controlled.
A description of what nuclear fusion is.
A description of what factors have to be controlled in nuclear fusion.
Describe what happens in the sun.
2A.M3 / Completed case study on Fukushima with
  1. What happened in Fukushima
  2. How scientists are trying to measure the impact of the disaster to the environment
  3. An example of what might happen to wildlife near the area

Presentation and observation sheet completed.
2A.D3 / Description of isotopes used in fission reactors and their half life’s with the safe levels of those isotopes
Evaluation the long-term effects of the fission material on the environment

Learner Assessment Submission and Declaration

This sheet must be completed by the learner and provided for work submitted for assessment.

Learner name: / Assessor name:
Date issued: / Completion date: / Submitted on:
Qualification: BTEC Level 1/2 First Award in Principles of Applied Science
Assessment reference and title: Unit 3 Energy and Our Universe , Assignment A
Task ref. / Evidence submitted / Page numbers or description
Summary assessor’s feedback
Internal verifier’s comment
Learner declaration
I certify that the work submitted for this assignment is my own. I have clearly referenced any sources used in the work. I understand that false declaration is a form of malpractice.
Learner signature: ______Date:______