Watson College of Education to Welcome Nuclear Science Week ‘Big Event’

Monday, October 17, 2016

UNCW’s Watson College of Education will be the venue Oct. 20-22 for the main event of Nuclear Science Week, which puts the spotlight on an industry with a significant presence in the Cape Fear region.

A key focus of this year’s NSW events will be to showcase the many ways nuclear technology can be harnessed now and in the future. The Wilmington Area Local Section of the American Nuclear Society and local chapters of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear are hosts of the “Big Event.”

“Our mission at WCE is to educate and to support learning in a range of contexts, and we happily offered our building to showcase an educational opportunity like Nuclear Science Week,” said Watson College Dean Van Dempsey. “It’s an honor to serve as the host location for an event designed to enhance and expand efforts in STEM learning for area children and educators.”

Nuclear Science Week, Oct. 17-21, is a national observation that highlights nuclear technology and its applications. Sponsors for the 2016 Nuclear Science Week celebration include Honeywell, Duke Energy Progress, Energy Solutions, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and URENCO. A number of other organizations will provide support, including Women in Nuclear, the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, UNCW, North Carolina State University and Cape Fear Community College.

Each year a different city is chosen to host the “Big Event” following the conclusion of local observances in other communities around the nation.

“North Carolina, and Wilmington in particular, is a great location to host the Big Event for Nuclear Science Week given the significant concentration of nuclear technologists in the state,” said Derek Bass, Wilmington Big Event 2016 chair and lead system engineer at GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

Tours of GE Hitachi and the Brunswick Nuclear Plant will be offered, and a variety of exhibits and workshops will explore the role of nuclear technology in energy, medicine and other applications. Other events include workshops for older children and teens and the film “Our Friend the Atom,” while another workshop seeks to engage K-12 teachers.

A screening of the film “Pandora’s Promise,” which makes the case for nuclear energy, will show at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 in Room 162 of the Education Building.

All events are open to the public, but registration is requested to ensure seating and tour availability.

-- Tricia Vance