This activity gives students an opportunity to learn about the elements created in the cores of high-mass stars by fusion reactions. They will discover that all stars start by burning hydrogen and end up creating many heavier elements inside their cores, elements that will be released into space when it dies in a supernova explosion. Students associate a layer with an element that is being produced by the high-mass star. This will illustrate that as the temperature of the star increases with depth, the ash of each burning stage becomes the fuel for the next stage. Surrounding the core of iron nuclei is a layer of silicon fusion, then magnesium, then neon, then oxygen, then carbon, then helium, and lastly, in the relatively cool periphery of the core, hydrogen fuses into helium. Students will draw their own version of the onion-like nature of the core of a star based on the model and explain the process that occurs at each layer.


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    Grade 12,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Chemical reactions,Elements,NSDL,Structure of matter,High School,Energy,Subatomic particles,Energy transformation,NSDL_SetSpec_1007936,Atoms,Fusion,Nuclear reactions,Grade 11,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20120114184732586T,Physical science,Chemistry,Physics,Engineering



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