In December 2013, AREVA TN employees Ashley Spry and Jibu Abraham visited two technical classes at Hammond High School in Columbia, Md., to talk about classroom and industrial safety. During the discussion, they provided an overview of nuclear energy and showed students how power plants work using a boiling water reactor puzzle depicting its major components.
“The students were very engaged and eager to participate,” said Ashley. “I was so impressed with one student who was able to explain nuclear power back to the class after such a brief introduction to the topic. He explained it flawlessly, from the fuel pellets, to fission, all the way to the turbine, generator, and transmission lines.”
They also gave a presentation on AREVA’s commitment to safety, and presented the class with a new table saw, along with safety tips for operating the table saw and information on its modern safe-stop technology.
What led Ashley and Jibu to offer this safety presentation and new saw to the class? Another AREVA TN employee, Mark Woynicz, had mentioned Hammond High during a company community outreach meeting, and noted that the technical class was using a table saw not equipped with the latest safety features. Jibu recognized this need as a great opportunity for AREVA TN to sponsor a program focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and to act on AREVA’s commitment to safety as an example to the students.
“Most of our outreach is intended to spark students’ interest in STEM-related careers. In this case, the students already have the interest, so we wanted to give them something more,” said Ashley. “In the nuclear industry, safety is always first and foremost, and we think it’s important to share our safety culture whenever we are engaged in community outreach.”
It’s “safe” to say they did just that! Omar Q., a student at Hammond, wrote Ashley and Jibu the following letter:
Dear Mr. Abraham and Ms. Spry,
Thank you for your presentation at Hammond! It was very interesting and informative, and has opened many new ideas for me in the field of engineering. Nuclear engineering is a very complex field, but it was explained so that all of us could understand it. In my own opinion, I think that nuclear energy is extremely interesting and promising, and that it could change the way power is produced. I appreciate the time you spent on your presentation at our school, and I’m certain that through the presentation, you have demonstrated the endless possibilities that engineering can provide. I also want to express my gratitude for providing a new table saw that I’m sure will make woodworking safer for all engineering students!