AIKEN, S.C. (June 14, 2018) – Since Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (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 benefited from their dedicated efforts to enhance learning.
"For many years now, we have benefited from the partnership of SRNS in our efforts to provide real-world application of scientific processes and concepts to the students and families we serve,” said Dr. Sean Alford, Superintendent, Aiken County Public Schools. "Their education outreach programs enhance the classroom experience for educators and students alike, while helping students discover their unique interests and define their goals."
As the 2017/2018 school year closes, 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.
"Supporting our local education system is investing in the future of the Savannah River Site as we continue to pursue local residents to fill job openings throughout our company," said SRNS President & CEO Stuart MacVean. "It's this kind of synergistic relationship between industry, education and students of all ages that helps guarantee a bright economic future for the entire Central Savannah River Area."
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, talks and demonstrations.
Many of the programs offered annually are based on learning through friendly competition, testing the depth of their knowledge and experience. 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 reaches the most students each year is CSRA College Night. Last year, over 5,000 area high school students and parents participated, requiring use of the entire floor space within the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga. More than 130 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 $290,000 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 76 teachers, totaling $50,000, were awarded. To date, more than $500,000 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.
In December of 2017, SRNS made an investment in the region’s developing workforce with a $100,000 installment of the organization's $550,000 commitment for the endowed engineering professorship to the University of South Carolina Aiken.
“We are extremely grateful for the tremendous support of SRNS,” said Dr. Sandra Jordan, USC Aiken Chancellor. “SRNS has been an invaluable partner to the university – not only through its financial gifts but through its scientists’ expertise in the development of many of our programs, including our signature engineering program; the insightful mentorship SRNS professionals have provided our students; generous scholarships; and the enriching internship opportunities our students experience at SRNS.”
To better reach adults pursuing two-year degrees and living near SRS, Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with local technical colleges. Each documents the partnership between these colleges, the Department of Energy and SRNS, while providing for the creation of advisory boards to oversee curriculum and course management related to SRS work scope.
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.
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