OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS) recently hosted more than 200 female high-school students from 15 area schools as part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering. The goal of the event was to inspire girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This program was conducted in concert with Girl Day, an initiative founded by DiscoverE and expands CNS’ existing relationships with area schools.
Kristin Waldschlager, CNS Educational Outreach, said educating the younger generation about STEM-related opportunities is “critical” for Y-12. “At Y-12, we have a sense of responsibility to make sure we support the development and growth of future scientists and engineers who could be working here,” she said.
Female engineers kicked off the program with a focus on encouraging young women to pursue engineering degrees. Christy Holt, a safety basis engineer with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office, said she became an engineer because she was “curious, creative, and wanted to solve problems.” Jamie Coble, an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, told students they don’t have to wait until college to discover their passion.
From electroplating zinc onto pennies, watching a 3-D printer at work, and competing to build the largest tower with office supplies, the students were able to explore more than a dozen engineering disciplines. Uranium Processing Facility Deputy Project Director Valerie McCain encouraged each student to make a huge impact in the world through engineering with the advice, “don’t limit yourselves and dream big.”