Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Classrooms: Talking about Nuclear Energy at UVM and at a High School

At ANS Nuclear Cafe this morning, I have a post: Young People and Nuclear Power.

Recently, Howard Shaffer and I attended a film about nuclear energy at the University of Vermont. I blogged about the film and panel discussion.

However, we also visited a charter high school in Massachusetts. This was a very different experience. The senior class at the high school has been engaged in an intense cross-disciplinary study of nuclear energy and Vermont Yankee issues. We spoke to the entire senior class.

The high school students who had studied nuclear power asked very knowledgeable questions, and some were interested in careers in nuclear energy. At the University of Vermont, few of the college students at the film knew much about nuclear power. Many of the college student questions were anti-nuclear position statements disguised as questions. ("Why hasn't the NRC ever turned down a license extension application?")

The ANS blog post is the story of only two classroom events, but examples are often more interesting than general statements. I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Picture of historical building at University of Vermont, Billings Library, from Wikipedia
Woodblock print of Thetford Academy (oldest secondary school in Vermont) from Wikipedia.

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