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DOE awards $1.2 million toward Navigating Nuclear: Energizing our World

At the Opening Plenary of the 2019 ANS Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, the Society announced that the ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information received $1.2 million in funding from the Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), to continue the development of Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™, the Society's K-12 STEM education initiative launched last year in schools across the nation.  

Thanks to the DOE-NE funding, ANS and Discovery Education will collaborate to develop nuclear science curriculum for high school students. ANS will work with Discovery Education to provide new lesson plans, career profiles, and a Virtual Field Trip for students in grades 9-12. Curriculum will be developed for elementary schools in 2020-21 to complete the K-12 initiative.

Curiosity. Learning. Inspiration.

Classrooms are filled with students always eager to know more. ANS is standing side-by-side with our nation’s educators through Navigating Nuclear. This program allows students to research and discover the answers to many important questions, like How does nuclear actually power our homes and communities, ensure safe food for our tables, keep us healthy, and catapult us to the far reaches of space? 

The ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information has joined forces with Discovery Education (DE), whose digital resources are subscribed to by nearly 50% of U.S. schools. Through the use of DE's digital platforms, ANS's new K-12, STEM education program, offering a suite of innovative curricular resources, started reaching students and classrooms across the country as of August 2018. 

The same curriculum and education materials are available to all other schools and educators who don’t subscribe to the Discovery Education digital platform, as well as the general public, through navigatingnuclear.com.

Watch this 30-second clip of the Navigating Nuclear Virtual Field Tri


“This broad network ensures our content and messaging will consistently be a part of teachers’ lesson plans across the country.”

— Eric Loewen, Navigating Nuclear Subject Matter Expert Team Leader & ANS Past President (2011-12)


Navigating Nuclear explores topics such as:

  • Facts about nuclear power
  • How energy is stored in the nucleus
  • Fission and fusion
  • Naturally occurring and human-made radiation
  • How reactors produce electricity
  • Reactors of the future

The program’s digital platform is lively and responsive, offering teachers a leading-edge educational experience with the newest information. Students can delve deeply into the nuclear world, applying their creativity to self-directed STEM projects, finding inspiration in the stories of nuclear professionals, and exploring a nuclear power plant through an interactive virtual field trip.



“ANS has an unwavering commitment to our members and the nuclear field—it is our mission to support the important work of our members and share it with the public.”

— Bob Fine, ANS Executive Director


Why this initiative and why now?

It is critical that we educate people on the benefits and value of the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. We’re starting in the classroom one child at a time, engaging, educating, and inspiring the next generation.

Listen to the RadioNuclear podcast on Navigating Nuclear

Listen to ANS Executive Director Bob Fine and ANS Past President Eric Loewen discuss Navigating Nuclear with show host Doug Hardtmayer on the RadioNuclear podcast.

Navigating Nuclear Webinars

  • In February 2019, ANS members Candace Davison, Dr. Mary Lou Dunzik-Gougar, Dr. Eric Loewen, and Bill Wabbersen introduced a new customizable approach to creating workshops incorporating the national science standards (NGSS) and the Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™ curriculum. The webinar, Navigating Nuclear Science: Creating Teacher Workshops, detailed how to create professional development opportunities you can tailor to your local teachers’ needs. It offers ideas for teacher-tested resources that ANS has prepared to assist its own members, as well as individuals and members of other organizations, in creating effective teacher education activities. For further information about Navigating Nuclear or this webinar, please contact Janice Lindegard at outreach@ans.org.
  • In October 2018, ANS Past President and Subject Matter Expert Team Leader Dr. Eric Loewen and ANS's Janice Lindegard introduced Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World™, the Society's new K-12 STEM education program. If you missed the webinar, no problem, watch it in its entirety. Learn about this exciting initiative and get answers to asked questions from the people closest to it.

Add Navigating Nuclear to your outreach programs 

ANS has put together a guidebook to introduce you to the Navigating Nuclear program. This resource will help you make the most of your outreach programs. Inside you will find ideas for contacting teachers, engaging students, and planning teacher professional development activities.

How you can help

Help support Navigating Nuclear and the ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information by making a contribution today.


Navigating Nuclear is an ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information program developed in conjunction with Discovery Education.

Last modified June 10, 2019, 6:57pm CDT

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