Women and the Manhattan Project

Women and the Manhattan Project

Women and the Manhattan Project_Picture.jpg

Operators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Operators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Digital Photo Archive, Department of Energy (DOE), courtesy AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives

In this lesson students will learn about the history of the Manhattan Project and how many women contributed in various capacities. This lesson relies on oral histories from a variety of women whose lives were affected in major ways by the Manhattan Project. Students will learn about these women through their oral histories and discuss their work. By the end of the lesson students will have learned more about life at the Manhattan Project sites, as well as more indirect consequences of the Project such as displacement, discrimination, and environmental and health effects. Students will also discuss their opinions and the opinions of the women researched regarding the decision to drop the atomic bombs. Afterward, the teacher will have students conduct a simulation of a nuclear reaction and explain the process of nuclear fission.