1. As students enter the classroom, have these questions
posted on the board for them to answer:
a. Define fission.
b. What are some of the products of fission? What
uses do we have for fission?
c. Where does fission get its energy?
2. Go over the answers to these questions. Students
should have a general knowledge of fission as the splitting
of large atoms, usually uranium. They should also have
some idea of the products of fission, generally smaller
and more stable atoms, energy, and radiation. Make sure
that the term mass defect is discussed, which is the
loss of mass that takes place in a nuclear reaction.
3. Have students read the article from the website listed
in the related and resource websites. Discuss the article
with the class. Hopefully, some questions about what
cold fusion is will come up.
4. The second website gives an explanation of fusion.
This is a fairly technical description so it should be
discussed as a class, not individually. The main idea
is to realize that this is the opposite of fusion. Instead
of large atoms being split, fission is small atoms being
combined to form larger ones. There is still a mass defect,
so there is still energy being generated. Most importantly,
there is no waste produced!
Allow the rest of the class for students to research
They should be looking for some of the problems
associated with cold fusion and how successful it’s
been. Also, they should understand why the term cold
fusion is used. Why are we aiming for cold fusion?
Finish the lesson by asking students their opinion
on cold fusion. Is it just a pipe dream or does it hold
the secret for our future energy consumption? Students
should respond on a half-sheet of paper. Allow them to
veer from their usual factual writing for this class. Ask
them for a fictional depiction of what life would be like
if we could learn to harness the power of cold fusion.
Closing writing assignment: Although
it is a fictional composition, its content can be assessed
for understanding of the lecture presented.