AIKEN, S.C. – Every year during Nuclear Science Week, employees at Savannah River Site (SRS) present hands-on demonstrations to local students on a variety of operations at the site.
Held Oct. 14-18 this year, Nuclear Science Week is an international, broadly observed weeklong celebration to focus local, regional, and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science.
During that week, employees with EM contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) conducted demonstrations on several topics for the dozens of high school students who visited SRS facilities. The students learned about the use of lasers to align industrial components; virtual reality equipment for employee training; environmental monitoring stations and techniques to sample air, soil, water, plants, and animals; and the properties of radioactive material.
“We believe SRS is an excellent location for students to experience firsthand some of the science-related technologies we work with daily,” said Kim Mitchell, with the SRNS education outreach program.
Mitchell noted that more than 30,000 students and teachers participated in SRNS education outreach programs last year.
“However, only a couple of these programs give students from our region the chance to come away with a better idea of what SRS facilities are like and the wide variety of the tasks accomplished here.”
Freshman Ireland Mack from nearby Silver Bluff High School said it’s important for students to visit SRS and explore different career fields.
“It will open their eyes to lots of opportunities,” Mack said. “This visit will definitely make me consider different career options, like engineering.”
The Nuclear Science Week events at SRS can help transfer knowledge to the next generation of workers as a growing number of employees retire, according to SRNS training instructor Booboo Roberts.
“We’ve been taught how to work safely and securely, protecting the environment, and to do our jobs properly, all of this to help make our nation safe,” Roberts said. “We want to pass that on to the next generation of workers.”