Navigating Nuclear: Bringing it home

American Nuclear Society members who are parent­ing K–12 students have been drafted to serve as home ed­ucators during the COVID-19 pandemic. While schools may have provided e-learning resources, the school year is at an end. How can concerned parents prevent the dreaded summer slide?

Here’s our suggestion: turn to Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our World, ANS’s K–12 curriculum devel­oped in partnership with Discovery Education, and teach nuclear chem­istry! Even if you live apart from the children in your life, consider using Zoom to introduce Navigating Nuclear to children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

UT, TVA to evaluate SMR development at Clinch River

The University of Tennessee (UT) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) signed a memorandum of understanding on April 7 to evaluate the development of a new generation of cost-effective advanced nuclear reactors, such as small modular reactors (SMR), at TVA’s 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear Site in Roane County, Tenn.

Distance learning is the new normal

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on universities has been wide-ranging, as it has forced remote learning across campuses, with a few exceptions.

Steve Biegalski, chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization (NEDHO), whose membership consists of 44 academic institutions, said that the group’s universities have also transitioned to online education. The switch has gone fairly well, he said, adding that laboratory courses have not transitioned as well as regular classroom lectures. The biggest impact, however, has been in the area of research.

ANS Student Conference organizers pivot to online webinar series

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced 2020 ANS Student Conference organizers to cancel plans to meet in person on the campus of North Carolina State University, they already had a full calendar of events and hundreds of registered attendees. While the meeting could be rescheduled, graduating students who had signed up to participate in the Student Design Competition would miss the chance to present their research. Finding a way for those students to present their work was a priority.

Nuclear Energy for Quarantined Kids – and Everyone!

More and more folks are having to essentially home-school their children or relatives’ children as this whole virus thing plays out – and they are benefiting from a tremendous effort on the part of educators everywhere as transition is made to sent-out and, increasingly, remote educational materials. I thought it might be useful to present, with commentary, some short nuclear energy videos that you could watch or use if you check down through materials or want to supplant them. (We really do have to take a moment to applaud our educators, everywhere, for what they’re facing – and the administrators as well.)

Navigating Nuclear takes high school students on virtual field trip to INL

When Navigating Nuclear’s latest virtual field trip (VFT) debuted online in February during Engineers Week, students in classrooms around the country learned about nuclear advancements happening right now at Idaho National Laboratory, on technologies including advanced reactors, TRISO fuel, and space power systems. The video, titled “Nuclear Reimagined,” highlights diverse applications of nuclear technology and career opportunities in the nuclear sector and puts a spotlight on the work of ANS members Heather Chichester, Paul Demkowicz, and Stephen Johnson at INL.

High school students become “decay detectives”

Lesson plans for middle school and high school students make up only one part of the compelling nuclear science education resources that Navigating Nuclear offers for today’s classrooms. ANS’s K–12 curriculum reaches students with virtual field trips (see article that begins on page 1), career resources, and STEM project starters to get students excited about nuclear science and its applications.