Close message Scootle maintenance is scheduled to occur on Thursday, 12 December 2019. There could be intermittent downtime for one hour from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm (AEDT). We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Learning objects Check your ions

TLF ID L46

Explore how a smoke detector works in a home. Make smoke in a kitchen to trigger the beeping sound of a smoke alarm. Look at a circuit diagram and magnified view to see how an isotope interacts with ionised gases within a circuit gap. Test a range of isotopes to see which will work in the smoke detector. This learning object is one in a series of three learning objects.



Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students explore the movement of ions in a smoke detector.
  • Students identify isotopes suitable for use in a smoke detector.
Educational value
  • Enables students to explore how a smoke detector works.
  • Provides an animated molecular view of the charged plates in a smoke detector circuit accompanied by a key to molecule types.
  • Explains how the radioactive isotope ionises oxygen and nitrogen, releasing electrons, and why smoke triggers the alarm.
  • Allows students to test the smoke detector with different types of radioactive isotope, with and without smoke, to find out which isotopes are effective.
  • Provides a sample results table to print out.
  • Provides a glossary and topics for further research.
Year level

9

Learning area
  • science
Strand
  • Science/Science understanding
    Concept
    • Science/Electric circuits
    • Science/Simple experiments
    • Science/Heat
    • Science/Physical properties
    • Science/Safety
    Skill
    • Analysis;
    • Application;
    • Comprehension;
    • Knowledge
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Modelling
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    Contributors
    • Subject matter expert
    • Organisation: Australian Science Teachers Association
    • Address: Canberra ACT 2600 Australia
    • URL: http://www.asta.edu.au/
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    Browsers
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    Rights
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.

    Related items