You and The Atom Bomb Webquest


Here is the word file that you will use to complete this webquest. You probably want to download it and use it directly or upload it in to Google Docs (as you see fit):


Being that you are a concerned and engaged citizen of the United States, you are going to research how Atomic Weapons can influence your life and the lives of your fellow human beings. Using the information that you collect in the Research section of this webquest, you are going to create an informative pamphlet or poster explaining any and all information that you have learned during this webquest that may be of interest to your fellow man.


1. Watch the following videos:

Trinity- the first nuclear bomb ever detonated
Baker: A Hydrogen Bomb.

Bikini Baker Test 1946
Uploaded by wdc4. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.
For Your Consideration:
  • How are these kinds of weapons different from conventional explosives?
  • The United States has ~6,000 nuclear weapons. What would happen to the earth if we used all of them?

2. Read This Essay by George Orwell

For Your Consideration:
  • Do you agree or disagree with the author's sentiments? Why do you feel this way?

3. The Bomb-A-City Calculator

How To Use The Calculator:
  1. pick a US city to bomb.
  2. For your chosen city, you can increase the yield of the bomb by moving the scroll bar at the bottom of the window.
  3. As you move the bar to the right, look at what happens to the yield of the bomb and the circles on the screen.
For Your Consideration:
  • Make sure you understand what each of the circles means (in your own words).
  • Regrettably, Manhattan is not a bomb-able option (why would that be?), but I would bet this calculator will make the most sense if you use a city that you are at least somewhat familiar with.
  • How would the detonation of a nuclear weapon affect the functioning of a major city?
  • Imagine what life would be like after the bomb was detonated...

4. The Fallout Calculator

How To Use The Calculator:
  1. Pick a city from the menu on the left below the satellite image.
  2. Select a wind speed from the next menu below the image.
  3. Select a direction for the wind to blow by moving the "Wind Speed" slider.
For Your Consideration:
  • Take a moment to understand what this calculator shows you.
  • What if Manhattan were bombed and the wind was blowing to the east...
  • What happens to people who are exposed to nuclear fallout?

5. The “Nuclear War Survival Skills” Handbook

Notes about Navigation:
  1. This is an on-line version of a book that was published by the US government in 1979 and updated in 1987.
  2. In order to move between sections you have to select the main section from the left hand sidebar and the subsections from the right hand sidebar of the web page.
For Your Consideration:
  • There are some truly fantastic pictures and diagrams in this Handbook. What a great source of images for your project...
  • Is survival possible after a nuclear war? How could it be done? What would it look like?

6. “At Work in the Fields of The Bomb”

Notes about Navigation:
  1. This is the on-line version of a photography book by Robert Del Tredici about the Atomic Weapons industry.
  2. Click on the different images and look at them. Look at at least ten of them and read about what they show.
For Your Consideration:
  • How has the atomic weapon affected our lives even though it hasn't been used in war since 1945?
  • How does the production of atomic weapons affect people's lives? What about society? What about the environment?
  • These images also might prove useful, no?

7. Free-Search


1. Open the word processor of your choice.

  • Microsoft applications are fine, but may I humbly suggest this alternative? It saves everything on the web and you can access your work from any computer with an internet connection.
  • Note: You will need to have a google account to use google docs.
  • Also Note: Why on earth don't you have a google account yet?!?

2. Create your masterwork.

  • Include images, graphics and text.
  • Make sure to include facts.
  • Make sure to cite sources in an acceptable format.
  • Include your citation list as an addendum to your project.
  • Remember, you are trying to persuade the general (and generally uneducated) public of whatever position you have taken.

3. Send it to me.

Ways to do this:
1) Easiest, preferred way - share your google doc with me (
2) Email your teacher: Mr. Libretto or Mr. Knuffke the finished product. Make sure to rename your project to put your name in the filename. I'd prefer a .pdf, a .doc, or a .odt file. Let me know if that's a problem.

4. Relax.