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Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employees teach engineering at middle school

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Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) is spicing up classrooms throughout the CSRA and giving students a taste of engineering.

Riding on a home-made hover through the halls of Riverside Middle School isn't something these students do on a daily basis.

"It was like you were floating. I was flying down the hallway," said seventh-grader Lauren Salter.

Many students like Salter aren't exposed to jobs in STEM fields, so they don't know what engineers do.

"The stuff they said was really interesting, considering my dad is an engineer, but I don't know that much about it, so today really opened up my horizons to understanding what they do," Salter said.

"I didn't really think anything of it, but I see how they use math and science in everyday life and its actually kind of cool," said student Katie Plowman.

Local businesses and organizations are trying to change that. For 20 years, Bill Wabbersen, an SRNS employee has been visiting classrooms in the CSRA showing students what engineering is. By using lights, robotics and flying objects, SRNS employees are able to teach students the importance of math, science and technology literacy. Wabbersen said they're seeing the benefit of exposing kids to engineering early.

"There are people at SRNS now that were students when we started. So we see a benefit. They are coming around to the workforce," Wabbersen said. "They still remember it so its good."

Wabbersen hopes that their activities help increase students' interest in STEM fields.

"It's fun for us and we like to see the light come on in the kids," he said. "That's the real benefit for us. We get to see them get excited."

Getting students excited about math and science, and maybe even creating future engineers and scientists.

SRNS has reached over 10,0000 students across the CSRA since the teach-in program started in 2008. 

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