Explore Radioactive Decay with Coins
Explore the science of radioactive decay with a safe hands-on family STEM activity.
As radioactive materials decay, or break down, they emit radiation that may be harmful. Unfortunately, the amount of time it takes for a radioactive material to decay varies. Scientists talk about the rate of decay in terms of the material's "half-life." Some materials have a very short half-life and others have a very long half-life.
In this week's family science activity, students can simulate the process of radioactive decay and explore the math behind the process to better understand why some radioactive materials stick around for a very long time.
The following Science Buddies activity on the Scientific American website has all the information you need to do this fun activity with your students at home: Half-Life Coins.
To view a related independent student project at Science Buddies, see: