The Harnessed Atom is a middle school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum extension that focuses on nuclear science and energy. It is designed to provide students with accurate, unbiased, and up-to-date information on the roles that energy and nuclear science play in our lives. The curriculum includes essential principles and fundamental concepts of energy science.

This update is based on the original 1985 Harnessed Atom curriculum from the U.S. Department of Energy. It has been developed with extensive input from science teachers across the country in pilot test reviews and workshops, as well as technical reviews from scientists and experts at universities, professional societies, and national laboratories.

This update includes new science education standards, updated statistics, new experiments, and interactive games. It also provides information on careers in energy research and production that will help students consider coursework needed to achieve their career goals. It has been redesigned to be flexible so it can be tailored to fit within the schedule of classrooms everywhere.

The Harnessed Atom includes the student edition, a teacher’s guide with the complete content of the student edition, plus the lesson plans, standards, instructor notes, interactive games, classroom activities, laboratory experiments, and outside resource suggestions.

One responsibility of the U.S. Department of Energy is to keep the public informed about our Nation’s different energy sources, research, policies, and options. The Harnessed Atom helps meet this goal by providing students with factual information they need to make informed decisions about our nation’s energy options and future—and their role in it.