U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Paducah Site professionals recently took time out to educate more than a thousand area youth about scientific and technical careers during two Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce outreach events.
Two hundred fifty girls, grades five through 12, took part in Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership’s (FRNP) interactive learning space at this year’s “S.T.E.M. for Girls” event held at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. Female engineers, scientists, and other professionals from the Paducah Site used the opportunity to inform the young women on the variety of careers available to them in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
FRNP also participated in the Chamber’s recent West Kentucky Launch Experience at which professionals from the site, including United Steel Workers members, interacted with and informed more than 800 eighth-graders from Paducah, Lone Oak, Reidland, Heath, and St. Mary Middle Schools and Community Christian Academy about STEM careers. FRNP sponsored and provided volunteers at the event, which was held at the Paducah McCracken County Convention and Expo Center.
FRNP is the deactivation and remediation contractor for the DOE Paducah Site. FRNP Program Manager Myrna Redfield believes the Chamber’s events are a steppingstone to recruiting young professionals to fill future jobs at the site.
“Young talent is crucial to the future success of the cleanup mission at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant,” Redfield said. “These events are great places to share all of the opportunities available to students if they work hard and complete their education.”
During the “S.T.E.M. for Girls” event, Redfield and the DOE Paducah Site Lead Jennifer Woodard shared personal stories about working as female engineers in a male-dominated profession.
“Meeting and encouraging these young women to consider the opportunities related to their future is rewarding,” Woodard said. “We want them to learn from our experiences as they decide what career path they want to take.”