Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association recently hosted a Pull for Our Veterans Skeet and Trap Fun shoot. Pull for Our Veterans is a non-profit organized solely for the purpose of raising money for veterans and their families.
Consolidated Nuclear Security was a corporate sponsor and was represented by a five‑member employee team of shooting sportsmen and women. Team members included Brian Schlenker, Gary Hagan, Abe Mathews, Heather Mathews, and Todd Kisling.
Pull for Our Veterans President Richard Stouder has organized the shoot for the past few years and said, “This year, we raised over $40,000 for the Fisher House Foundation and HonorAir Knoxville.”
Earlier this year, the CNS team took part in a “Fun Shoot” in Sweetwater, which raised $5,000 for Pull for Our Veterans.
Stouder said the event in Sweetwater “nicely complements” the Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Association event.
The Fisher House Foundation provides a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and veterans medical centers. To date, they have served more than 277,000 families, provided more than 6.5 million days of lodging, and saved more than $320 million in lodging and transportation costs.
HonorAir Knoxville is a voluntary program dedicated to honoring East Tennessee military service personnel who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam wars. The program is designed to provide service members an all‑expense paid one‑day trip to Washington, D.C., to tour the monuments built to honor their sacrifice.
Despite the rain, Schlenker was the top shooter on the CNS team. While he has been a competitive shooter in the past, he enjoyed the format of this program that was designed not only as a benefit but also to provide an opportunity for shooters of all levels.
Kisling added, “It was a pleasure to represent the company and be able to make the other team members look so good.”
For Chris Caserta, the stress of finishing engineering school was only topped by the stress of wondering where to get a job afterward.
“Before hearing of Y-12’s CNS Veterans Program, I had planned on looking for whatever internship or co-op opportunity I could find that would help me develop professionally,” he said. “Thanks to the program, I have been able to begin my professional engineering career much earlier than I had expected.”
Caserta, who spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserve, found out about Y-12’s CNS Veterans Program from a student he was tutoring in calculus and physics at Pellissippi State Community College. That student, David Swinney, is a fellow veteran participating in Y-12’s program.
Through the program, veterans are provided with part-time employment, mentoring, support and work experience in their chosen field while pursuing their bachelor’s degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) discipline. Upon completion of their STEM degree, they convert to full-time employees.
After getting his associate degree from Pellissippi State, the former Army Reserve sergeant transferred to Tennessee Tech and is set to graduate in December. Caserta credits the Y-12 program with giving him skills and experience he otherwise would not have gotten until he began working, and those skills have helped him perform at his best academically.
“After only having spent a month and a half working over the winter break, I have been able to apply the technical writing skills and experience with heat transfer analysis that I learned on the job. I have been involved in a team experiment at TTU building a cooling tower and testing the effects of microfluids on the efficiency of the cycle,” he said. “My experience at Y-12 gave me the knowledge and experience so that I was elected as the team leader for the build process, experimental analysis, and technical writing of the report with a possible publication of our findings.”
One more advantage of joining Y-12’s CNS Veterans Program—Caserta won’t be walking into a job cold. “Overall, the program has given me an advantage in school and my professional career,” he said. “Not only do I have more time to focus on my studies, but I’ve also had the chance to develop professional relationships before graduating.”
There are eight veterans currently in the program at Y-12 with representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Y-12’s sister site in Amarillo, Texas, the Pantex Plant, is on the verge of beginning its own program, which is hoped to start in early 2017. Six graduates of the Y-12 program are working at the site as nuclear, electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers.
If you’d like to know more about the Y-12’s CNS Veterans Program, contact Rhonda Gibbons at 241-7285. For information about Pantex’s CNS Veterans Program, contact Cary Langham at 574-9838.
Recently, Pantex and Y-12 were inspected by the Environmental Protection Agency. Y-12’s inspection also included a visit from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Both sites came away with stellar reviews after three day inspections in areas such as hazardous waste management, training and compliance documentation.
“This is a significant accomplishment that does not happen by accident, but instead through hard work, diligence, and a commitment to excellence,” said Teresa Robbins, NNSA Production Office deputy manager.
In addition to inspecting waste storage areas, the inspectors looked at numerous records. These records included hazardous waste manifests, annual hazardous waste activity reports, waste reduction reports, and hazardous waste training and lesson plan content. Despite the volume of records reviewed, inspectors noted only one minor issue.
Inspectors at each site had positive things to say about the various processes and procedures that they had observed. Inspectors noted that the Material Evaluation Process (waste characterization) employed at Pantex far exceeds what is required by regulation and is better than what he encountered at commercial waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. At Y-12, the inspector even asked for a photo of an exceptionally good Y-12 practice to use as a benchmark for others.
“There are hundreds of folks doing the hard work every day and likely wonder if anyone will notice. Each one needs to know that excellence is a choice. And, the string of individual decisions they have made is having a positive impact on this site’s overall reputation,” said Bill Tindal, Y-12 site manager.
“Seeing that there were no violations or concerns identified during this on site inspection only proves that we have a great group of people here that really take pride in their jobs and processes,” said Todd Ailes, Pantex site manager.
Training minds one LEGO® at a time might seem a bit far-fetched, but at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that’s essentially the goal. During the summer, 25 of its students went through a series of problem-solving exercises and, using LEGOs, created robots for competition.
The students were part of the school’s EV3 MINDSTORMS® Boot Camp—a camp designed to stretch the minds of the youngsters while learning the basics of programming and design. The boot camp prepared the students for the FIRST® LEGO League season.
FIRST, “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” teamed with LEGO group to form the league, which challenges young people to research real-world problems and find solutions. They go on to design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS technology and compete on a tabletop playing field.
The boot camp was funded through the CNS Y-12 Community Investment Fund. A committee of Y-12 employees makes recommendations for distribution of funds.
“Thank you so much for the grant,” said Jane Shanafield, a teacher at Jefferson Middle School. “Because of your generosity, we were able to host the EV3 MINDSTORMS Boot Camp this summer and will now be able to compete in the FIRST LEGO League,” she added.
The CNS Y-12 Community Investment Fund is a partnership with the East Tennessee Foundation. For more information, go to http://www.easttennesseefoundation.org.
When young people are presented with a new technological device, they typically light up with excitement. It is like a toy that can be used to create, design, explore and understand things. Technology is a valuable teaching tool where learning seems more like fun than work.
Consolidated Nuclear Security’s (CNS’s) Ben Green of Technology Development and Mike Malone of Production are inspiring young people while helping equip school teachers with emerging technologies. At North Middle School in Lenoir City and Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, the investment sparks students’ interest in fields vital to the mission at Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) and other high‑tech careers.
At North Middle, Green and Malone assembled a new 3‑D printer for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) class and offered a tutorial on its operation to 14 STEM instructors and other teachers from the school.
Mike Malone explained, “3‑D printers provide a new medium for instruction. Anything normally drawn on a dry erase board can now be visualized with a model that students design and create themselves. Exposing students to this technology is vital because 3‑D design and printing have emerged as important tools in engineering and manufacturing. Offering training to the school teachers on this technology is a win‑win for the entire school.”
CNS is also helping with 3‑D printing at Robertsville Middle. STEM teacher Todd Livesay offers students an education extension program with a team of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA¬) engineers and managers at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The students have developed conceptual ideas for a CubeSat — a small satellite launched from larger spacecraft in orbit. They presented their ideas and proposals to a team of NASA engineers and managers.
Next, students will engage in the processes of design, fabrication, assembly, launch and delivery of a fully launchable satellite that will be rocketed from Cape Canaveral. To do that, the students need a 3‑D printer, so CNS stepped in and is providing one to allow the students to manufacture their own designs for the CubeSat.
“By providing this technology and expertise to students and educators, CNS is helping facilitate STEM education, which CNS hopes, in turn, produces the next generation of employees,” said Kristin Waldschlager, Y-12 Education Outreach lead.