1204 Whiskey Rd, Suite B
CNTA Education Committee
Background - The CNTA Education Committee and the American Nuclear Society-Savannah River (ANS-SR) section have jointly developed and implemented a workshop for middle school and high school teachers called "Bringing Nuclear into the Classroom." The first teacher workshop was held in March of 2009. Sessions were taught by CNTA and ANS-SR volunteers with diverse and extensive experience in the field and in the classroom.
Since then, the workshop has been improved and updated to include more hands-on activities that teachers could potentially use to excite students in their classrooms. Design of these activities was based on teacher feedback through participant survey results and comments. A workshop was presented to regional teachers in 2011 and two more workshops were conducted in 2012. Summer interns (~50) from one of the primary contractors at SRS, Savannah River Remediation (SRR), participated in additional workshops during the summer of 2012. The current workshop includes hands-on styled presentations featuring the following topics: Atomic Fundamentals, Power Generation Fundamentals, Nuclear Fundamentals, Nuclear Technologies, Risk (Perceived or Real), and Regional Nuclear Technology Uses and Opportunities. Also, CNTA and ANS-SR have partnered with the local Health Physics Society, the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (RPSEC) at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, Energy Solutions, the SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRS-CRO), Georgia Regents University Augusta (GRUA), and the Aiken Rotary Club to make this a community-wide effort.
2013 Activities - During 2013, the workshop was presented to a group of 14 Columbia County teachers at Greenbrier High School on February 18th and 21 teachers at the Salkehatchie Learning Institute on May 17. A workshop was also presented under a RPSEC grant from the SC Department of Education on October 18 to 31 teachers from Aiken and Bamberg counties. Dual sessions were necessary to accommodate this larger group of teachers along with additional presenters, Also, some of the topics from "Bringing Nuclear into the Classroom" were included in Southern Company's summer teacher's workshop at the Vogtle nuclear site. In addition, the workshop activities were presented at the ANS Annual Meeting in Atlanta on June 19 as an example of a successful regional partnership to advance the awareness of nuclear technology and career opportunities in the nuclear industry.
During National Nuclear Science Week (NNSW) in October, members of the Education Committee supported the presenta-tion of "Journey to the Center of the Atom" to 20 groups of students from schools in the CSRA at RPSEC, GRUA, and the Salkehatchie Learning Institute. "Journey to the Center of the Atom" was developed by committee member William Wabbersen and has been included in American Nuclear Society teacher's workshops at their national meetings, this year in Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
A subcommittee headed by Dean Sackett reviewed and commented on draft National Science Standards that were issued for review in 2013. Their review was very extensive and time-consuming, but most of their suggestions were included in the recently released National Standards. The subcommittee also reviewed the draft SC science standards for consistency with the national standards and provided comments to the SC Department of Education. Special thanks were extended to Sackett and his subcommittee members (Joe Kelley, Doug Edwards, and Greg MacDougall) at a CNTA Up & Atom breakfast for a job well-done.
Plans for 2014 - A full schedule of teacher's workshops are planned for 2014. Workshops were completed on January 31 at the RPSEC under the grant from the SC Department of Education (25 teachers) and on February 18 at Lakeside High School in Evans, GA (11 teachers).
Additional workshops are planned as follows:
- April 25 - RPSEC under the grant (30 to 40 teachers) - dual sessions
- May 16 - Salkehatchie Learning Institute (15 to 20 teachers)
- Summer - SRNS and SRR interns; Southern Company if requested
- Fall (tentative) - Richmond County (GA) and RPSEC (under the grant)
- Participate in the ANS National Teacher's Workshops as requested
Planning started in 2013 for an advanced workshop as requested by several teachers. The initial offering is targeted for late summer or early fall. Work with SC Department of Education and the local school boards will continue in the application and support of SC standards to advance STEM topics in the local school systems.
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