Tuesday, April 03, 2007

NEI Teaches the Teachers About Nuclear Energy

When 11,000 science teachers invaded St. Louis, Mo., last week, the nuclear energy industry was there to teach them about clean-air nuclear power.

The Nuclear Energy Institute hosted an exhibit hall booth that drew strong traffic during the week-long convention that ended April 1. We answered plenty of questions about new plants and used fuel, and provided brochures and other material about nuclear energy.

We received an overwhelmingly positive response from the teachers. Many appreciated our up-to-date materials. That’s especially important since many said that their textbooks contain little or no information on nuclear power. And even when the books discussed nuclear energy, the information was out of date (sometimes by 10 years or more). Here's a sampling of some of their comments:

-- "I don't understand why we ever stopped building nuclear power plants in the United States." – Missouri teacher
-- "When will we build more plants? I am behind that 100 percent." – North Carolina teacher
-- "Give me everything you've got on Yucca Mountain. I am a big supporter of the repository." – Chairman of a California educational resource company
-- "I live near a nuclear power plant. It is a great neighbor." -- Illinois teacher

The convention was sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how little information is included in our high school science curriculum on nuclear energy.

In fact, it is not covered well in science museums.

An exception would be the Liberty Science museuem in New Jersey, which not only has a mock up of a reactor, but a display showing orange FarberWare (uranium glaze) pottery. One can hold a geiger counter to the pottery.

The Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, also has an exhibit of CP-1, a life size mockup with mannequins, as well as Glenn Seaborg's original sample of plutonium.

Nuclear energy must be included in science education. It is essential.