• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

Nuclear Reactions: Atomic Diplomacy at the Marin Headlands

Grades 11-12

Teachers new to Nuclear Reactions must attend the Teacher Workshop on February 28, 2015.

Please see link at bottom of page for Nuclear Reactions introductory video.

Nike missiles poised to launch, Marin Headlands.

Nuclear Reactions: Atomic Diplomacy at the Marin Headlands provides a dynamic supplement to your unit on the Cold War. Students are introduced to the Nike missile site that operated in the Marin Headlands during the 1950s until 1974. The missile site, located near a major urban area, offers students the opportunity to consider the national significance and impact of the Cold War from a local perspective: its definition of security, the technology it spawned, the role of diplomacy, and public perceptions of the era. Students also can conduct research into primary and secondary sources that continue the story of nuclear technology in our political and economic world of today.

Nuclear Reactions uses the Understanding by Design framework, incorporates Common Core Standards and Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies.

Click here for the Nuclear Reactions Understanding by Design grid.

Click here for the teachers guide and program description.

Program Description

Nuclear Reactions is framed by the Essential Question – "How do perceived threats shape our lives?" Students also consider the following questions:

What is my definition of national security?

Do my answers to these questions contain contradictions?

Nuclear Reactions in structured in three parts:

· Classroom preparation – lessons delivered by the teacher with resources provided by the park addressing the implications of the Cold War using articles and historic photographs

· Field session – the Nike site experience in which students conduct an inquiry investigation

· Classroom assessment – opportunities for students to demonstrate what they have learned through essays and debate

Nike logos





Did You Know?

Alcatraz Island with the cellhouse located to the right of the watertower.

Alcatraz Island is one of the designated National Historic Landmark Districts and has over 1.4 million visitors, each year, from all over the world.