SRNS offers ongoing STEM activities for students

  • Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, September 13, 2012 2:53 p.m.
Aiken Standard file photo
Aiken Middle School teachers, from left, Eljielyn Espiritu, Margaret Fussell and Kelli Kilbourn were among 110 teachers throughout the CSRA to receive science- and math-based mini-grants from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions during the past school year. SRNS will sponsor the mini-grant program again in 2012-13, along with other educational initiatives.
Aiken Standard file photo Aiken Middle School teachers, from left, Eljielyn Espiritu, Margaret Fussell and Kelli Kilbourn were among 110 teachers throughout the CSRA to receive science- and math-based mini-grants from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions during the past school year. SRNS will sponsor the mini-grant program again in 2012-13, along with other educational initiatives.

With the new school year under way, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Education Outreach Programs prepares for another year of competitions, lectures and demonstrations. Last year, the programs reached more than 17,000 students in the Central Savannah River Area, and this year they expect to reach even more.

The goal of the programs is to empower area students by making education pertinent to their ambitions and talents. The programs promote science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on experiments, demonstrations and competitions in hopes of sparking interest in related careers.

Among the initiatives is a mini-grant program to encourage innovative teaching. This competitive program provides grants to CSRA public school teachers for projects that enhance science, math and technology curricula. Earlier this year, SRNS awarded 85 grants to classroom teachers.

• The CSRA Science and Engineering Fair develops students’ scientific investigation skills and knowledge by planning, constructing and exhibiting their own “hands-on” scientific project.

• The Regional Future City event is held at USC Aiken each January. This national project-based learning experience is for middle school students to imagine, design and build cities of the future. In recent years, teams from Paul Knox and Kennedy middle schools have won the regional event and moved on to the national contest in Washington, D.C.

• The Science Bowl is a “Jeopardy Style” academic science competition for high school students in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, energy and earth and space science.

• The Traveling Science Demonstration Program provides SRS scientists and engineers to teach in the areas of chemistry, biology, physics and other STEM-related fields.

• Every year about 50 middle school girls from the CSRA participate in “Introduce a Girl to Engineering,” meeting with women engineers and a variety of hands-on activates.

• Science Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) provides students in third through 12th grades with environmental science, mathematics and technology education.

“We are committed to our community and through education outreach programs are adding value to the education system,” said Dwayne Wilson, SRNS CEO and president. “We understand that investing in the future of CSRA students guarantees the sustainability of the community and our site.”

For more information, visit irmsrv02.srs.gov/general/outreach/edoutrch/index.htm.

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