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World War II
The 1940's
Manhattan Project

World War II
World War II

Manhattan Project
Print Manhattan Project Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.33

     challenging words:    abuzz, plutonium, fission, monumental, uranium, reactor, usable, outweigh, spelled, nuclear, atom, capability, finding, scientific, whose, operation
     content words:    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, United States, Albert Einstein, Columbia University, New York City, Los Alamos, New Mexico, Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Oak Ridge

Manhattan Project
By Jane Runyon

1     The scientific world was all abuzz in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Scientists had known for many years that all matter was made of smaller bits of matter called atoms. Now they had discovered that these atoms could be broken up even smaller. They found that when these atoms were split, a form of energy was created. Breaking the atom into smaller pieces was called fission. Atomic energy was produced by fission.
2     Rumors began to circulate in the late 1930s that German scientists were very close to producing a bomb using atomic energy. Scientists of the world knew only one way to fight such a possibility. They needed to make sure other countries had the same capability.
3     President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States was urged to fund a program for atomic research. He even received a letter from Albert Einstein requesting this research. Einstein was a brilliant scientist whose ideas and opinions were respected everywhere in the world. Einstein explained his reasons to Roosevelt. He believed a mineral found in the United States called uranium should be used. It would create enough atomic energy to produce a powerful explosion. Roosevelt appropriated $6000 for the study.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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World War II
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The 1940's
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