Recent activities of the Hungarian Nuclear Society in nuclear education

The Hungarian Nuclear Society has a Teachers’ Division. Members of the division are about 30 high school teachers and university professors working in teacher training.
  • The Hungarian Secondary School Curriculum contains half of the year modern physics, including 18 lessons of nuclear physics compulsory for every secondary school student.  This has already been introduced in the 80’s, and helped to improve the nuclear literacy of the population. This might be one of the cause that nuclear energy is supported by more than 70% of the population in the country (according to results of recent polls)
  • When introducing the nuclear subjects in the secondary school curricula, several service training courses were organised to prepare the physics teachers and to provide them the necessary knowledge and information. After the completion of the training they received GM-counters for their schools to enable them supporting the theoretical lecture with real radiation experiments. Thus, they could easily show the existence of environmental background radiation, and some natural radioactivity.  
  • Since 1998 this Division organizes annually a countrywide competition (Leo Szilárd Competition) for secondary school students. The average number of participants is 400 students from every part of the country. The subject of this competition is exclusively modern physics, including nuclear and radiation physics.
  • The Hungarian Nuclear Society established an award for teachers: The “Öveges Award” may be granted to physics teachers working in schools, based on an application submitted. Its goal is to reinforce the experimental attributes of physics education in the schools and to recognize the work of experimenting physics teachers. In scoring the applications extra points are given to those who present new, genuine school experiments related to modern and nuclear physics.
  • HNS organized a one year long competition between schools on the occasion of the “Edward Teller centenary”. The schools competed on events held in nuclear issues. The number of schools participated was more than 40, the number of involved persons from the schools and from the general public was well over 10000 persons
  • The Hungarian Nuclear Society has decided celebrating the centenary of the discovery of the atomic nucleus by announcing "The Year of the Nucleus" for 2011, in Hungary. This represented an excellent opportunity for public communication and for outreach activities. Many public events, experimental shows and other celebration events were organised by the participating school teachers. The number of the involved persons from the schools and from the general public was again well over 10000 persons. 
  • The HNS also organizes annually a Nuclear Summer Camp for interested high school students. In this camp students visit the Training Reactor of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, work in laboratory of the Eötvös University and listen to nuclear experts and university professors’ presentations. We are going to organize the 8th Summer Camp next year.
Scientific and informative lessons are given about nuclear energy and NPP technology for secondary grammar and secondary technical school students by the WiN (Women in Nuclear) section of the HNS.
  • HNS (WiN) is present in the jury and help the preparation of different scientific and environmental discipline specific events organized for students (eg. physics competition for students organized by the Social Control, Information and Urban Development Association, Physics can be fun, Science competition, National Environmental Study Competition).
  • Participation in the countrywide „Day of Girls” event organized by the Women in Science Organization (raising interest of high school student girls in engineering, science fields).
  • WiN published a comics for secondary school students about nuclear energy.
  • Next to Paks Nuclear Power Plant there is a Museum of Nuclear Energetics. A specially equipped bus acts as a mobil interactive exhibition, and makes a roadshow, circulating in the country.             
  • The nuclear organizations of the country (Paks NPP, Budapest Research Reactor, University Training Reactor, Radioactive Waste Storage, etc.) are open for regular visits to the public. Many thousands of persons visit those facilities every year, the bulk of the visitors being pupils of secondary schools.   


There is also a youth division (young generation network) of the HNS. The main goal of this division is to expand young people’s knowledge about nuclear. The division mainly focuses on university students and young adults with its activities, but occasionally finds the way to younger audiences. Division’s activities relevant in the 12-16 years old target audience:
  • Participation in music festivals with a “Nuclear tent” where the visitors can talk with people from the industry, can take tests, and study demonstration materials.
  • Participation in conferences organized by the Society for the Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge (TIT) and targeted to high school students. Our contribution to these conferences are similar to the above mentioned nuclear tent, we demonstrate and talk with participants on our stand.
  • Guest lectures about nuclear energy at the High Schools of the members of the divisions.