“Without a doubt, SRNS deserves an A+ for the quality of their education outreach programs.”
– Dr. Sean Alford, Superintendent, Aiken County Public Schools
AIKEN, S.C. – May 25, 2017 – As the 2016/2017 school year closes, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) can look back and know nearly 30,000 students and educators have been positively impacted as a result of 14 comprehensive education outreach programs and events they have provided throughout the region.
Since SRNS became the management and operating contractor in 2008 at the Savannah River Site (SRS), more than 200,000 students and teachers throughout the eight counties near SRS have benefitted from their dedicated efforts to help local students and assist area educators.
“Without a doubt, SRNS deserves an A+ for the quality of their education outreach programs,” said Dr. Sean Alford, Superintendent, Aiken County Public Schools. “It has been rewarding working closely with their employees and the SRNS Education Outreach Program staff.”
Overall, the primary goal of SRS education outreach programs is to stress the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These STEM-intensive initiatives include the Traveling Science Demonstration Program, Science & Technology Enrichment Program, Innovative Teaching Mini-Grants, Introduce a Girl to Engineering and various workshops, tours, lectures and demonstrations.
Many of the programs offered annually are based on learning through friendly competition. They include the South Carolina Regional Science Fair, DOE Savannah River Regional Science Bowl and the Regional Future City Competition.
One of the SRNS educational events that reach the most students each year is CSRA College Night. Last year, over 7,000 area high school students and parents participated, requiring use of the entire floor space within the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga. More than 140 colleges and universities typically attend College Night, each manning an information booth. This event is coordinated by SRNS personnel with the help of many highly valued volunteers from several local companies. Over the years, more than $275,000 in scholarship funding has been offered to students attending CSRA College Night.
In addition, SRNS annually offers a “mini grant” program to provide financial assistance to area teachers through corporate funding. This competitive program provides grants to CSRA public and private elementary and middle school teachers for innovative ideas. During this past school year, grants for more than 140 teachers, totaling $50,000, were awarded. To date, more than $550,000 has been contributed to support educators throughout the region.
At the collegiate level, SRNS has taken steps to strengthen ties with many colleges and universities in South Carolina and Georgia by providing scholarships, funds for critical STEM-related equipment and mentoring opportunities.
To better reach adults of all ages living near SRS, Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with local technical colleges. Each documents the partnership between these colleges, DOE and SRNS, while providing for the creation of advisory boards to oversee curriculum and course management related to SRS work scope.
“Partnering with the Department of Energy and so many inspiring academic leaders, teachers and school officials continues to be a rewarding experience,” said SRNS President & CEO Stuart MacVean. “We are pleased to invest in the future of the communities surrounding SRS. I’m hopeful that many of those students we are now working to engage and assist will, in time, join the SRNS family.”
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.