DIDACTIC TOOL FOR INTRODUCING CHILDREN TO CHEMICAL ELEMENTS
, G. Müller2
1Turku University (FINLAND)
2Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
Considering that the childhood stage is indispensable in the education of human beings and especially critical to arIse in children scientific aspects, some handheld puppets were designed which represent radioactive elements and are used to tell the story of the beneficial uses to which these chemical elements are destined for.
The first element presented is the Uranium, as generator of energy in reactors and not only as a generator of atomic disasters. The Plutonium, which is used in long-lasting pacemakers,is also presented together with the Carbon 14 that allows to date organic material of historical importance; the Iodine used in medicine for thyroid problems, and the Cesium 167, used to detect pollution in marine sediments when related with quantities of Potassium 40, detected in the same samples, are also introduced to Elementary school children. Finally, the Radium is presented as the element that initiated the process of worldwide search for radioactivity.
We considered that with this ludic activity, children can be interested in basic chemical concepts, besides it avoids the common fear about nuclear chemistry associated to scientific experimentation or disasters shown on stereo-typical TV programs, mass media news or films.