>> News from STP: STEM Teachers Learn about Nuclear, Inspire Their Students
News from STP: STEM Teachers Learn about Nuclear, Inspire Their Students
July 20, 2012
Approximately 400-500 employees will leave the company over the
next five to seven years - retiring after more than 20 years with
STP. Replacing these teammates is critical to sustaining
This information was an exciting message to four high school
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teachers visiting
the site for STEM camp.
Since 2008, STP has hosted STEM teachers each summer as part of
its Workforce Development plan, coordinated by Clarence Fenner,
Workforce Development. The STEM camp familiarizes teachers with the
nuclear industry and STP's career opportunities. The teachers, in
turn, pass on to their students their experience of working at a
nuclear energy facility, and the type of career opportunities that
"This experience helps us pass on the information to the
students," said Heidi Elliott, an algebra teacher at El Campo High
School. "It's a great opportunity for students."
The teachers were on site through Thursday, July 19. They
visited with several departments at STP, including Environmental,
Health Physics, Safety, Operations and Maintenance. Teachers use
what they learn to develop lesson plans for their students
utilizing nuclear science scenarios.
Before coming to STP, the group visited Texas A&M
University, where they were matched with engineering professors and
acted as Research Experience Teachers. To date, Texas A&M and
STP have jointly trained 15 math and science teachers - including
this summers' teachers - all from local and regional high schools
and one high school principal.
The teachers will take what they learned back to their students,
which helps STP spread the word about the opportunities for high
school students - whether they want to pursue a four-year degree or
a two-year associates' degree.
"I didn't realize there were so many different engineering
disciplines," said Chris Skinner, a physics and biology teacher at
El Campo High School. "There are many different avenues for a
student to take if they're interested in math and science."
"I think it is an exciting time for the kids, because of the
attrition that is coming. Most of the students don't realize this
type of opportunity is so close to home when they ask the question,
'when am I going to need this math? When am I ever going to need
this science?' We can now give them a better answer," said Don
Ahysen, algebra teacher at Bay City High School. "You have an
opportunity to work 30 miles from your home and make a very good
living. Don't give up on high school just because you don't think
college is for you. If you have a math and science background, this
may be a choice for you."
Math and science teachers (above, from left), Don Ahysen, Heidi
Elliott and Chris Skinner learn the basics of radiation protection
from Fred Sutter, Staff Technical Training Instructor.
STEM teachers learn about
radiation protection from Fred Sutter, Staff Technical Training
Instructor. The STEM teachers take back to their classrooms what
they learn at STP.