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Lesson H-UIII-L3: Sarin Nerve Agent Attacks: Chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction

Unit III: Historical Context of Terrorism
Grade Levels: 9-12
Time: 45–60 minutes

Students learn about the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo, Japan Metro in 1995 by the Aum Shinrikyo. They explore and answer critical thinking questions about the fear caused by use of chemical weapons, the motivations of the Aum Shinrikyo, the government responses and the reactions of the public, and the long-term effect on the victims (physical, emotional, and psychological). Students also study the status of the Aum Shinrikyo organization today and the international laws and treaties governing production of chemical, nerve, and biological agents. (Grades 9–12)