Outing #26: One (Radio)Active Family

Musée Curie, Paris, France

EXPLORE

This week we’re diving into the world of Crazy Chemistry. To start, we’re visiting the Musée Curie in Paris, France to learn about radioactivity and the amazing Curie family. The Curies--Marie and Pierre Curie and their daughter Irene and her husband Frédéric--collectively won five Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Physics!

To join in, check out the museum’s virtual exhibits to learn more about the Curie family and work.

This short animated TedEd video also provides a good overview of Marie Curie and the obstacles she overcame to become one of the most famous and decorated scientists in history.

Then, watch these short videos to learn more about the uses of radioactive materials and common radioactive objects you might have in your home.

Bonus: Check out the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Museum in Poland, where Marie grew up.

DISCUSS

  • What are some of the inventions that we would not have if the Curies had not identified radioactivity?

  • Marie Curie died from a disease that was probably caused by her long-term exposure to radioactive materials. Would you study something if you knew it could revolutionize science but might also damage your health?

  • What did Marie Curie do in her life that took bravery? What would inspire you to be brave in similar ways?

DO

Scavenger Hunt! Use this checklist to look for common household items (or places) that are often radioactive. Don’t worry, though! Other than radon in a basement, the radiation levels from most of these things are too small to hurt you. For more information about the items on the list, check out these articles from ThoughtCo:

Then, learn more about how radioactive materials decay with Scientific American.

SHARE

Share your collection of radioactive goodies and thoughts on the famous Curie family in the comments below, via Facebook, or by email!

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