###### Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about matter and radioactivity (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

*This video from Top Gear is a great hook to get students thinking about the effects of radioactivity, half-life and its impact on local areas. Before students watch the video ask them to think about the source of radiation, how it’s measured and how it effects living organisms. *

#### Solids, liquids and gases

Click here for resources on states of matter and particle theory.

#### Radioactivity

Modelling radioactive nuclei decay using dice. Students use a dice model to consider the effect of nuclei decay on a large number of nuclei over time. In our model the dice represent individual nuclei that make up a substance called diceium. Students plot a graph to determine the half-life. This resource was adapted from a lesson made by Steven Jones.

**The M&M half-life model**.

This is a simpler model than using dice. Start with a large bag of M&Ms. Shake the bag and pour into a plastic tray. Remove any M&Ms that are facing up as they are assumed to represent decayed nuclei. Count the remaining M&Ms and record how many there are. Repeat these steps until all M&Ms have ‘decayed’. Now plot a graph of shakes versus number of remaining M&Ms and find different half-lives. Is each half-life the same or different?

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