Reflection: Modeling Beta Decay - Section 3: Beta Decay Instruction


Students have always struggled with how beta decay happens, and perhaps I haven't been as clear about it in the past.  This year, the visual of drawing the neutron and having the electron break out of it, leaving the stuff that makes a proton really cemented it for my students.

In the past, I have over-relied on the technology to show the nuclear decay, between the Gizmos and PhET simulations.  However, none show exactly how the neutron changes.  By taking a minute to draw it out and represent it, the students did fantastic.  It is very easy to forget that sometimes the basic way of teaching a concept is just as valid as one with bells and whistles.

  Visual models
  Modeling: Visual models
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Beta Decay

Unit 4: Nuclear Chemistry
Lesson 4 of 7

Objective: SWBAT explain how beta decay occurs in the nucleus and model it with nuclear equations.

Big Idea: Beta decay is a process that occurs when there are too many neutrons in the nucleus.

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  42 minutes
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