The table and chair nucleus model

I guess I had to post this one day. One reason I left the UK is because of the paperwork and all the bullshit that surrounds trying to teach there.

I came up with this storming explanation for explaining the nucleus one day. It came to me in a dream.

A nucleus made of all the tables and chairs in my room tied together with cable ties.

The tables are protons, the chairs neutrons and the cable ties between the tables are the strong nuclear force.

Chairs can come and go and they don't make a vast amount of difference only to the mass. The charge, i.e. the general structure and shape of the nucleus is unaffected by the chairs presence, only the mass.

But why do the tables not fly apart? They are after all, all positive so they should repel each other to kingdom come!

Somewhere in all that there's a strong force holding them together!

The cable ties are very strong and so, if you climb in and kick it from the inside it stays together.


In theory if you beat it hard enough the tables will fly off! Just like nuclear radiation! Alpha particles have high energy cos they have had to overcome the strong nuclear force to get out!

Apparently I breached one or two Health & Safety guidelines doing this lesson.

Ho hum whatever...

Did the pupils learn? Hell yeah. One kid came up to me after the lesson and said outright that he had not understood all the nucleus stuff from the videos and diagrams in Chemistry for the last two months but suddenly it was crystal clear.

My opinion is that if any bullshit gets in the way of learning (the tables could have fallen on my head at worst) then the point of coming to school has been lost.

Could I have taught this any other way? Yes of course.


What's my name?


Of course I bloody well wouldn't!
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