The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons introduces students to the history of nuclear weapons and the concept of deterrence. It examines arguments for and against nuclear weapons and looks at three challenges facing us today: the leftover arsenals of the Cold War, proliferation, and the threat of nuclear terrorism.
- Analyze maps and data to draw conclusions about the status of nuclear weapons stockpiles today.
- Develop map reading skills and data-analysis skills.
In the Classroom
Note: Prior to this lesson, students should have an understanding of three challenges facing us today.
Part II of The Challenge of Nuclear Weapons addresses these topics.
- The leftover arsenals of the Cold War
- The threat of nuclear terrorism
Getting Started—Have students generate as a class a short list of current problems surrounding nuclear weapons. Put the list on the board or an overhead.
Map Analysis—Explain to students that they will be using a map to examine the status of nuclear weapons. Put students in groups of two or three and hand out the “Map Analysis Questions.”
Sharing Conclusions—After students have finished the activity, review some of the answers. Are there connections to the current problems listed on the board?
Ask students to review additional maps from Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Threats at www.carnegieendowment.org/deadlymaps. This is a series of maps reflecting the worldwide proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and their missile delivery systems. It is provided by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.