Department of Energy

Nuclear Energy is All-in for STEM

March 25, 2019

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Edward McGinnis serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy.
Edward McGinnis serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy.
Office of Nuclear Energy

Who and What? The Office of Nuclear Energy works to engage all—all ages—all populations—to understand more about nuclear energy. For our younger students, we have partnered with the American Nuclear Society and Discovery Education Network to infuse nuclear education into formal and informal settings. Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World is a new, dynamic, standards-aligned program that invites students to explore the many applications of nuclear science and its impact on energy, healthcare, food, and the environment.

Supporting inspired and engaged students at the next level, the Office of Nuclear Energy invests in the next generation of nuclear energy leaders and advancing university-led nuclear innovation through our Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP). NEUP Scholarships and Fellowships enable students to acquire funding to help pay for a degree in nuclear engineering.  

Students at an Office of Nuclear Energy outreach event.
Students at an Office of Nuclear Energy outreach event.

The Millennial Nuclear Caucuses are a series of events that bring together the next generation of leaders in nuclear innovation. They feature discussions on the path forward for the nuclear industry and the role innovative technology will play. Participants at the events represent the full spectrum of the nuclear field, including young leaders supporting the existing fleet, those designing small modular and advanced reactors, and those advocating for a thriving nuclear future. We encourage all young people interested in nuclear energy, advanced science and technology solutions, or the future of clean energy to attend and join in the conversation. We all have a stake in the future of nuclear!

It is vital to continue to educate for a STEM-literate (and nuclear-literate) society. The Atomic Wings Lunch and Learn is a monthly bi-partisan educational Capitol Hill outreach initiative developed by our office for Members of Congress, Hill Staff and Industry.  Topics have included Small Modular Reactors, private-public partnerships, microreactors, economics, how nuclear powers space travel, and jobs in nuclear energy. 

The Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group is a DOE-chartered working group that serves tribes which are interested in or impacted by the broad spectrum of DOE nuclear energy activities. One of the working group’s major efforts was to address the issue of inadequate STEM opportunities for native youth through the creation of a white paper to highlight the gaps and offer recommendations for increasing STEM education in Indian Country. The Nuclear Energy Tribal Working Group white paper presents the main priorities in regard to STEM education including nuclear energy education for students, integration of place-based “Traditional Ecological Knowledge” with DOE mission-focused STEM content, awareness of career opportunities for Native Americans and workforce needs for DOE, and incorporation of a strategy for tracking data from programs to gauge Native American participation and program success.

We invite YOU to be “all in” for STEM with Nuclear Energy! You can stay apprised of all of these events as well as those across the DOE complex by subscribing to the DOE newsletter for STEM Rising-- subscribe to the newsletter here.

Attendees at a Millennial Nuclear Caucus event at Idaho National Laboratory.
Attendees at a Millennial Nuclear Caucus event at Idaho National Laboratory.
Mike Mueller, Office of Nuclear Energy