This discussion lesson will cove the topic of nuclear testing at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

As an introduction to the lesson, the students will watch excerpts of “Radio Bikini”, a documentary about the testing program.  Prior to this, I will have them research the topic by using the internet site www.bikiniatoll.com.  I will also share some personal history of having lived in the Marshall Islands and my experience in meeting Jack Niedenthal who wrote “For the Good of Mankind”, which is about the relocation of the Bikinians.


By the end of the lesson the students will be able to:

  1. 1. Why did we need to test nuclear weapons?
  2. 2. Why did we choose the Bikini Atoll?
  3. 3. Do you believe that the Bikinians really had a choice in whether or not to allow the U.S. to use their islands?  Why? Why not?
  4. 4. Can you compare this move to any other groups of people?  Which ones?
  5. 5. Do you think that it would be difficult to maintain a sense of culture if you had to keep moving from place to place?  Why? Why not?
  6. 6. Why did the Bikinians have such a hard time adjusting to their new home at Rongerik and Kili?
  7. 7. Were there any positives to come out of this for the Bikinians?
  8. 8.  Discuss your thoughts on this picture.  (Give brief discription)