The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) Atomic Legacy Cabin (ALC) in Grand Junction, Colorado, will celebrate Nuclear Science Week, Oct. 18-22. Because ALC staffers have had great success reaching middle-school students in past years, they want to bring that same experience to fifth-grade students in 2021.
Nuclear Science Week focuses on the five pillars of nuclear science: carbon-free energy, global leadership, transformative healthcare, innovation and technology, and space exploration. While the national celebration takes place in Washington, D.C., local communities are encouraged to get involved by hosting their own events. The Grand Junction City Council issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 18-22 Nuclear Science Week in the city.
Although the interpretive center has been closed to in-person visits since 2020, it is open to the public via virtual programs. The ALC continues to support STEM curricula at all grade levels and is ready to connect students with experts in many fields.
This year, the ALC is participating in Nuclear Science Week by encouraging students and educators to “Get to Know Nuclear” through a free online Radiation – Energy in Motion program. Designed for upper elementary school students, a video and free downloadable activity packet will help students learn about the types of radiation, where it comes from, and how LM protects human health and the environment through radiation control at its sites.
ALC staff will also be giving students educational packets and custom giveaway bags designed to educate students about radiation and nuclear science. The bags will be offered to fifth-graders in Mesa County Valley School District 51.
LM Public Participation Specialist Shawn Montgomery said the yearly event has become an important part of the cabin’s STEM educational mission.
“Nuclear Science Week is something our team here at Legacy Management looks forward to every year,” he said.
Last year, LM celebrated the week in an online format with nearly 450 middle-school students in their science classrooms. ALC staffers hope to reach even more students this year, as the public program will be available to all through the Atomic Legacy Cabin website.
“Being able to support a great organization that continues to lead the way in STEM education, by promoting the awareness needed to excite our next generation of STEM professionals, is an honor for us,” Montgomery said. “Everyone in this industry is aware of the future needs this industry is facing and we take our responsibilities of promoting programs like NSW very seriously, while having a bunch of fun doing it.”