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Moravia School District
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Juniors try to save the world from nuclear war

May 10, 2019 -- Eleventh-grade teachers Michelle VanEtten, Tyler Miller and Kristen Likel designed and led the junior class through an interdisciplinary lesson this week that focused on the 1962 Cuban missile crisis — a tense, 13-day political and military standoff between the United States and Soviet Union. The dispute centered on the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles in Cuba and President Kennedy’s decision to use military force if necessary to neutralize the perceived threat to national security. 

As part of the cross-curricular experiment, the science station taught students about nuclear chain reactions and the short- and long-term effects of nuclear radiation on people and the environment. The math station had students launching missiles to test if a target could be hit with accuracy, calculating confidence intervals. And the social studies station prompted students to dive into the political issues around the crisis, ultimately playing the role of adviser to President Kennedy.

A fun twist at the end revealed that Soviet spies had been planted among some groups to try to influence the advice to the president.