These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Making stars: fusion

”When you tell people you make stars for a living, their heads turn and their mouths open.” The video features Dr Kim Cave-Ayland who is a control engineer at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE). 

At CCFE they use a tokomak to create a plasma hot enough to fuse hydrogen.  They are working to create a safe, low-pollution power source that could change the world forever.

Fusion takes place in the centre of stars across the universe.  The Making stars resource contains curriculum linked activities on nuclear fusion, binding energy, radioactivity and the hot CNO cycle in stars.  The CNO cycle is the predominant fusion process in stars larger than the Sun.  The main activity involves students in the classroom mapping out a real-time hot CNO fusion cycle on the classroom floor.

There is a full set of hand-picked resources to accompany this resource.

Curriculum links include: nuclear particles (neutrons, protons and alpha particles), nuclear isotopes, beta decay and half-life, alpha decay, fusion reactions and fusion energy, the statistical nature of beta decay and half-life, stars, energy generation in stars, and stellar explosions, catalytic processes in general.


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