Ways to teach… Ionising radiation

Listeners have been more than generous with some tips for ionising radiation and how to teach it. Thomas, Robin and Patrick introduce some great ideas and discuss how to put IR in context.

Wisdom and wit

Patrick, Thomas and Robin get together to tackle ways to teach Ionising Radiation with context proving to be the most common tip.

Friend of the podcast, Dan Toomey shares his love of the radioactive sources and how to build a radiation detector, while Sarah Nunn and Mary Wild both weigh in with some tips on the best ways to run class demos and to help students remember the relative properties of alpha, beta and gamma. Everyone loves a story!

Patrick, it turns out used to have his own nuclear reactor that the US government gave him (none of this is quite true, but in Thomas’ and Robin’s heads it always will be!) and he tells us some of the real-life ways in which he avoided being toasted – we’re so glad he did.

Horror stories appeal to the kids too, so Thomas shared this genuinely terrifying clip of Russian ‘safety’ measures, whilst Veritasium gets a mention for the fantastic video on the world’s most radioactive places. is another great resource for getting kids thinking about how common and everyday radiation really is. The circumstances surrounding the Goiânia accident are as bizarre as they are terrifying.

For careers advice, tell your students about Medical physics careers and many more. Just one of the jobs you can do if you study ionising radaition.

Thanks to Dan, Mary, Sarah, Patrick and to you for listening!


Join in!

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The music we use remains One legged equilibrist polka by Circus Homunculus. Occasionally we also use Cantina Rag by Jackson F. Smith.

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