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ANS Receives Department of Energy Funding to Continue STEM Education Initiative

The ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information announced it has received $1.2 million in funding from the Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE), to continue the development of Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our WorldTM, a K-12 education initiative launched last year. Both ANS and DOE-NE recognize the importance of a fact-based, nuclear energy-focused STEM education initiative for our nation’s students.

In 2018, the ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information collaborated with Discovery Education to launch Navigating Nuclear for grades 6-8. Through the first phase of this program, ANS provided nuclear science content to an estimated 442,444 students in middle schools throughout the country since last August. Thanks to the DOE-NE funding, ANS will work with Discovery Education to expand the initiative to high schools, providing new lesson plans, career profiles, and a Virtual Field Trip this fall. Curriculum will be developed for elementary schools in 2020-21 to complete the K-12 initiative.

“ANS is proud of the success of the middle school program during the 2018-2019 school year and we are excited to continue developing nuclear science content for high school and elementary school students and science teachers throughout the U.S.,” said Eric Loewen, leader of the ANS Subject Matter Expert Team and an ANS Past President. “Navigating Nuclear provides fact-based information on nuclear science and technology which serves as an important tool for our future leaders in realizing the benefits that nuclear science and technology brings to our lives.”

Like the middle school curriculum, the high school and elementary school curricula of Navigating Nuclear will align to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), K–12 science content standards that set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do. The NGSS were developed by states to improve science education for all students. These standards give local educators the flexibility to design their own classroom learning experiences to stimulate students’ interests in science. It also prepares them for college, careers, and so they can make informed decisions about what they support. To date, twenty states and the District of Columbia (representing over 41% of U.S. students) have adopted the NGSS. Another Twenty-two states (representing 43% of U.S. students) have developed their own standards based on the same recommendations that guided the development of the NGSS.

Navigating Nuclear resources are available at no cost on or through Discovery Education’s Streaming and Science Techbook. For more information about the American Nuclear Society and the ANS Center for Nuclear Science and Technology Information, visit ANS on Facebook and Twitter.

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