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NNSA Selects Washington Middle School to Participate in K-12 Outreach Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that Washington Middle School in Cairo, Ga., has been selected as the initial school to institute the expansion of NNSA’s Laboratories K-12 Outreach Program. The selection marks NNSA’s commitment to reach out to schools that have a diverse student population and would not otherwise have an opportunity to participate in the laboratories’ outreach programs.

“NNSA is thrilled to help promote the sciences and new learning opportunities with K-12 students in communities throughout the U.S.,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino.  “Here at NNSA, we understand the importance of encouraging children of all ages to learn about math, science and engineering so that the NNSA, other government agencies and the private sector can recruit the best and the brightest from the next generation of professionals.”

The outreach program focuses on the educational infrastructure of the schools and instruction methodology of the teachers. The program also looks at the curriculum used and the educational instruction and learning experiences of the students.

The six grade classes of Valerie Coley and Angela Ponder from Washington Middle School were selected to participate in the program. On Friday, Dec. 10, Tommy Smith from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will give a presentation on various sources of energy, their uses, and conservation. Last month, Dr. Jiang Li of Morgan State University, in Baltimore, provided the first virtual classroom presentation on “Sinking Cities: Effects of Human Activity on the Earth’s Surface.

The talks are part of the program’s goal to provide students the opportunity to connect and interact, through visitations and computer connections, with experts from the DOE/NNSA national laboratories and Dr. Samuel P. Massie Chairs of Excellence from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions.  The program is also assisted by the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University/Florida State University College of Engineering.  

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.