Dept. of Energy science fair at Gaseous Diffusion Plant

By Ryan Ottney

September 27, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

A record number of schools and high school juniors are expected to participate in the fourth annual U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Science Alliance — a science fair scheduled for Oct. 1-3, at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.

The event includes scientific demonstrations related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and also provides information related to careers associated with those fields.

“We could not be happier with the growth of this event,” said Portsmouth Site Director Dr. Vincent Adams, who will welcome 23 regional schools and more than 1,200 students and educators. “This event has shown steady growth and that means more students are learning about these fields and the exciting career opportunities that exist for them in the years ahead.”

Representatives from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Portsmouth Site Specific Advisory Board (SSAB), the Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative (SODI), regional universities, the United States Enrichment Corporation and DOE prime contractors (Fluor-B&W Portsmouth [FBP], Restoration Services, Inc., Wastren-EnergX Mission Support) will join DOE in operating the demonstration areas and executing the event. Some of the interactive demonstrations will include biology, recycling, innovation, geology, groundwater monitoring, emergency management and much more.

“STEM-related fields are part of what we do every single day at this facility,” said FBP Project Director Dennis Carr. “We think it is vitally important to provide information to our regional students that educate them on some of the complicated issues – including energy – that face our nation. We also want to provide historical information on the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, which has been a vital component of this region’s history and will continue to play a vital role in southern Ohio’s future.”

The schools participating in the event are Adena, Eastern Pike, Green, Huntington Ross, Jackson, Lucasville Valley, Paint Valley, Pike Christian Academy, Pike County Career Technical Center, Piketon, Portsmouth, Portsmouth West, Northwest, Notre Dame, Scioto County Career Technical Center, Sciotoville East, Southeastern, South Webster, Unioto, Waverly, Wellston, Western Pike and Wheelersburg.

“Our goal is to enhance the students’ development in STEM-related areas. We want to build a bridge between what they are learning in the classroom and how that is applied in real-world settings,” said Dr. Adams, who also said the growth of the event has been a cooperative effort.

“We could not put on this event without the cooperation of the schools and DOE’s partners. We want to thank them for their participation and we are looking forward to welcoming our guests to Science Alliance.”

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.