I tell you this random note from my childhood as a set up to two resources I collected that have nuclear connections. This is a continuation of my spirit of sharing posts as I pass along old resources made new to me by the miracle of modern scanning.
- I bring you the Wonders of the Chihuahuan Desert Coloring Book (29MB; pdf), courtesy of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM. WIPP is where alpha-irradiated waste items go for permanent storage. It's a big ole salt mine with miles of underground tunnels. I took a group of kids there once so they could participate in a job shadow program. While they were off doing their thing, I got a tour of the place. It's one of the most claustrophobic experiences I've ever had. There's no way I could be a miner. Anyway, where else are you going to get a coloring book with tarantulas and prairie dogs. No author or copyright date on the material. It's your tax dollars at work, kids.
- But, even better, I have the Tuna Can Cloud Chamber and Radioactive Food handout (17MB; pdf). This was put together by Jay Shelton for the 1995 NSTA conference. Oh, how I love this stuff. The "tuna can cloud chamber" is just awesome. You need dry ice, empty cans spray painted black, styrofoam containers, plastic wrap, rubber bands, a chunk of something radioactive (uranium ore, old Fiestaware...), and a flashlight---and boom, your kids can watch the vapour trails left by the ejection of radioactive particles. There's a lot more to be had in the handout, including a quiz about radioactivity---great for addressing misconceptions.