This study guide assists teachers in increasing students' understanding of the prevalence and spread of nuclear weapons and familiarizes students with historic and contemporary measures to control nuclear proliferation and stimulates their thinking of potential strategies for doing so in the future.

A primary security concern in today’s world is the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation. States beyond the five “original” nuclear weapons-possessing countries (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) are seeking to acquire, or have already acquired, nuclear materials, industrial systems to produce plutonium or uranium, and delivery systems, such as missiles and airplanes. Moreover, non-state actors are seeking to acquire nuclear materials and weaponry. What can be done to limit the proliferation of such dangerous weapons?

Objectives of the Teaching Guide

  • To increase student understanding of the prevalence and spread of nuclear weapons;
  • To familiarize students with historic and contemporary measures to control nuclear proliferation and stimulate their thinking of potential strategies for doing so in the future;
  • To develop students’ analytical reading, writing, and research skills;
  • To reinforce students’ abilities to collaborate and produce a work product with peers using traditional and electronic means of research, discussion, and document preparation;
  • To enable classroom teachers, students, and contest coordinators to:
    • Understand the overall theme of the National Peace Essay Contest (NPEC) topic;
    • Define and understand the concepts contained in the essay question;
    • Formulate a thesis for their essay;
    • Review bibliographic resources and select qualified sources for their research;
    • Write, edit, and submit essays to the United States Institute of Peace;
    • To provide teachers with lesson plans, worksheets, bibliographic sources, and factual material to assist them in preparing students to write essays for submission to the National Peace Essay Contest.

The Teaching Guide includes all lesson plans, student handouts and instructions.

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