Teachers often ask us for resources on nuclear energy to help them explain how nuclear energy works – how we harness the energy stored in the atom, how much nuclear power contributes to our nation’s electricity needs, how reactors work, how safety and security is handled at America’s plants, what types of careers are available in the nuclear industry, and what U.S. government agencies are tasked with a role in nuclear energy.

To simplify the search for nuclear curriculum, we have pulled together our Teacher and Student Guides and resources below. In addition, NEED has nuclear energy integrated into many of its teacher and student guides found elsewhere on www.NEED.org.

All NEED curriculum is available for free PDF download at the NEED Shop – check out our nuclear curriculum!

NEED Curriculum

Energy from Uranium (Grades 6-8)
Exploring Nuclear Energy (Grades 9-12)
Energy on Stage (See The Simpsons: A Nuclear Outing, a play about nuclear energy.)
Extended Reading on Nuclear Topics


NEED Infobook Content about Nuclear Energy

Primary Nuclear Infosheet
Elementary Nuclear Infosheet
Intermediate Nuclear Infosheet
Secondary Nuclear Infosheet


Presentations from the Nuclear Energy Conference for Educators – Charlottesville, VA – July 25-29, 2010

Nuclear Power Plant Hearing – Combined Construction Permit and Operating License
AREVA – U.S. Nuclear Industry
AREVA – Nuclear Plant Overview
A Global Nuclear Renaissance – Sharon Squassoni, Center for Strategic and International Studies


Additional Activities and Resources

Atom Game
Atomic Structure Presentation
Beneficial Uses of Radiation Presentation
Cells Presentation
DNA Activity



Council on Foreign Relations Nuclear Energy Guide
United States Nuclear Energy Commission
International Atomic Energy Agency
The Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
Uranium (nuclear) Basics from the EIA Energy Kids web site
Japan and Nuclear Power in 2011
American Nuclear Society


PowerPoint Presentations

Introduction to Nuclear Energy
Introduction to Nuclear Reactors



Career Chats: Professionals Working in the Nuclear Energy Industry March 2009
Nuclear Jobs March 2009
Nuclear Energy Article March 2009
Green Jobs February/March 2013


NEED Curriculum in Spanish

What is Uranium


Energy at a Glance

Uranium (small) (large)


Coloring Sheets

Coloring Book!


CVCC Introduction to Nuclear Technology

NEED launched a partnership with Central Virginia Community College through a U.S. Department of Labor grant to create the Introduction to Nuclear Technologies course for teachers teaching dual enrollment students at CVCC. The 40 hour course includes two weekends of content and hands-on nuclear activities and a field trip to Dominion’s North Anna Nuclear Power Station. The course activities include robotics, nuclear chemistry, health physics, non-destructive examination, nuclear physics, and public policy in nuclear energy. Special thanks to Barbara Bragg (CVCC) and Janet Walton (Region 2000) for their leadership on the project and to NEED’s team Vernon Kimball, Regina Donour, Doug Keaton, Hallie Mills, Dr. Frank Settle, and DaNel Hogan for creating and delivering this exciting course. 17 teachers are participating in the first session of the course.

Download a zipped file of lesson plans, background reading for the teachers, curriculum guides, and PowerPoint presentations here.


More Awesome Extras!

NEED Book List
Graphics Library
PowerPoint Presentations
Energy Timeline
NEED Energy Video Lessons