Lesson Four

National Labs Do What, Now?

About This Lesson

Did you know the Energy Department has 17 National Labs that tackle scientific challenges like climate change and discovering the origins of the universe? In this lesson, suitable for grades 6-8, students will explore our National Labs and their specialities.

Materials Needed:

Handout: National Labs Do What, Now?

Clip: Tomorrow’s World Today, Episode 411: “Nuclear Does What, Now?”


1. Ask students if they know what a National Lab is. (The Energy Department’s 17 National Labs tackle the critical scientific challenges of our time — from combating climate change to discovering the origins of our universe — and possess unique instruments and facilities, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. They address large scale, complex research and development challenges with a multidisciplinary approach that places an emphasis on translating basic science to innovation.)


2. Watch Tomorrow’s World Today, Episode 410: “Nuclear Does What Now?”


3. Divide students into groups and assign each of them one of the National Labs to research and present to the class:

A. Ames Laboratory

B. Argonne National Laboratory

C. Brookhaven National Laboratory

D. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

E. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

F. Oak Ridge National Laboratory

G. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

H. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

I. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

J. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

K. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

L. Los Alamos National Laboratory

M. Sandia National Laboratories

N. Idaho National Laboratory

O. National Energy Technology Laboratory

P. National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Q. Savannah River National Laboratory


4. Have students complete the “National Labs Do What, Now?” worksheet. 


5. Present findings to class.

Ready For The Next Lesson?