Essays on Science and SocietyIBI* Series Winner

Radiation and Atomic Literacy for Nonscientists

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Science  25 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6157, pp. 436-437
DOI: 10.1126/science.1230003

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Summary

The student teams stand outside of their closed classroom door holding Geiger counters. Behind the door, the classroom has been salted with radioactive antiques, rocks, and commercially available sources. Their mission: safely locate the radioactive objects and quantify their radiation levels. Keenly aware that, thus far, they have only encountered background radiation, the team members wait expectantly, some uneasily, for this new task. Some of the team members are smiling, anticipating an experience something like a postapocalyptic Easter egg hunt. What will they find behind the door?