School: School of Dreams Academy
Area of Science: Chemistry
Interim: Our projects objective is to create a computer diagram of an otherwise dangerous real-world problem, plutonium behavior in an unsecured environment. This has been proven by the Hanford open air demolition. According to an official Hanford.gov report (2017), this plutonium plant demolition has caused many nuclear cleanup workers to test positive for nuclear particles either in their bodies or even in their vehicles, which go home to their families, and can even spread these harmful particles to the public. As this is a government cleanup, there are obviously lots of precautions made to protect these workers, but radioactive particles have proven time and time again, to have unique properties in the way they travel. Being able to map out how Plutonium travels and how it latches onto objects (of if it latches onto anything with a certain property) would be very useful to cleanup workers and the government trying to protect said, workers.
We are planning on solving this computationally in NetLogo. We plan on studying properties on not just plutonium, but other radioactive elements that are similar to Plutonium to get a better grasp on radioactive properties. Finding out if radioactive elements are more attracted to other elements or even certain properties will be vital in being able to predict where these particles will be traveling or latching onto. Radioactive particles were reportedly found all the way a quarter mile away from the plant,(according to a Buzzfeed article published in 2018) which can lead one to believe that they can travel from object to object as the only feasible conclusion you can get from that is the particle came out or off of a car.
So far our group is still in the research phase. We have gathered information on the Hanford site specifically as it especially piques our interest, the behavior of radioactive material, and how this is already affecting real-life people. We are hoping to get the ball rolling on actual programming as soon as possible to meet our guidelines.
We are expecting to be surprised by our results. Science has revealed secrets about depths of space we can't even fathom, we want to be a part of expanding our knowledge on the invert, we want to expand knowledge on the smallest parts of the universe.
Sponsoring Teacher: Soni Buda-Thornburgh
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