Exelon Generation’s “Nuke 101” program is a workshop designed to assist educators in teaching nuclear science and technology to their students. The program is run by Exelon Generation employees at Exelon’s 13 nuclear facilities and corporate offices. They invite teachers to the plants in their communities to learn about nuclear energy and the science behind it through instructional and interactive lessons.
The Nuke 101 program was created by members of Exelon’s North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) chapter in 2010. The idea for the workshop came from teachers, who said they weren’t sure how to teach fission. While they understood the basics of splitting atoms, they needed real-life examples of how the process works to educate their students.
Nuke 101 puts teachers in their students’ shoes by having them participate in the lectures, activities and experiments they’ll teach in their classrooms. This gives them a better understanding of what they’ll be teaching and how their students might respond to it. They learn about nuclear fission and how, when safely controlled in a nuclear power plant, it can generate electricity. They also learn about radiation and radioisotopes, and accompanying hands-on activities teach half-life and how to detect and measure radiation. Most importantly, the teachers are provided valuable teaching material that they can take back to their classrooms to use with students.