WM Symposia announces STEM Champions Challenge

February 6, 2023, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe

Waste Management Symposia (WMS), which hosts the annual Waste Management Conference in Phoenix, Ariz., is launching a new effort along with Longenecker & Associates to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education efforts to attract and build the next-generation nuclear workforce. The engineering, environmental, and nuclear services company Spectra Tech is joining the initiative by matching Longenecker & Associates' contributions to the program.

The 2023 STEM Champions Challenge will help fund WMS’s set of STEM education programs, including the purchase of STEM kits and materials for schools in underserved areas; sponsorships for children in underserved areas to attend STEM-related camps; and donations to assist other non-profit STEM programs, such as the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair and the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The support: Longenecker & Associates, a long-time supporter of WMS and its education mission, provided an initial $50,000 to launch the challenge. Spectra Tech has contributed a matching $50,000 and WMS is working to encourage other firms in the nuclear and environmental remediation industries, as well as interested individuals, to join the effort.

They said it: “L&A is proud to help WMS launch the 2023 STEM Champions Challenge, and we encourage our industry partners to participate,” said John Longenecker, chief executive officer of Longenecker & Associates. “We’re excited to aid WMS in its work to promote STEM education and help develop the interest of students in pursuing opportunities to contribute to the U.S. Department of Energy and its vital missions and the broader global nuclear industry.”

WMS President Susan Stiger, noted, “We’re grateful to L&A for helping us launch this new initiative to support WMS’s important programs to provide STEM education and attract students to pursue careers in the nuclear and radioactive waste management industries. We’re excited at the level of interest we are seeing in the STEM Champions Challenge, and we encourage those interested in supporting the next generation of workers in these important fields to participate.”

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