Journal Article Importance of Supporting School Education on Radiation After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident

清水, 裕子  ,  飯田, 治三  ,  根井, 充  ,  明石, 真言

The National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Japan has conducted training courses for professionals to obtain correct knowledge on radiation and its use in various fields. After the Fukushima accident, the demands for education on radiation not only by professionals but also by students increased. NIRS started school visits to conduct classes on radiation basics to ninth-grade (14/15-year-old) students in public junior high schools in cooperation with the Chiba city education board. After the classes, a questionnaire survey was conducted to evaluate the school visits and to improve the contents of the education. More than half of the students thought that the contents of the lecture were appropriate or easy to understand. Use of devices or instruments such as a cloud chamber, TV phone, or survey meter was helpful to arouse the students’ interest. The school visits significantly changed the students’ feelings toward radiation from “fear” to “interest”. Our preliminary trial to conduct a class on radiation basics in junior high school suggests that detection of radiation by students and its visualization are very helpful in educating school children on radiation.

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