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A Model Nuclear Power Plant Steam Turbine


Source Institutions

    Thomas Alva Edison Foundation Inc.

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A Model Nuclear Power Plant Steam Turbine

In this activity (on pages 22-25 of PDF), learners build a model of a power plant using simple materials. The activity specifically refers to a nuclear reactor, but it is a good model for the way a coal, oil, natural gas, or geothermal power plant works. The main difference is whether the burning can of Sterno represents Uranium breaking down (nuclear), fossil fuels burning (coal, oil natural gas), or energy from the earth's crust (geothermal). Also, in a real plant the turbine wheel is attached to a generator, and that's how electricity would be generated.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Model

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • A small unopened can of your favorite fruit juice
  • An empty soup can
  • A clean finishing nail
  • A wire coat hanger
  • A can of Sterno canned heat
  • An eye dropper
  • Two small sheet metal screws
  • Tinsnips
  • Hammer

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nuclear Engineering
    • Technology
      • Energy and Power
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and History

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Benrey, Ronald

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Thomas Alva Edison Foundation, Inc., ©1976

Funding Source:

  • Exxon Nuclear Company, Inc.

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