Curriculum allows students to pursue nuclear destination

Published 5:00 am Friday, September 25, 2009

Area students are getting a chance to look at careeropportunities in the nuclear field thanks to Entergy’s DestinationEducation and Power Path to Nuclear Energy programs.

Entergy Customer Accounts Manager Kenny Goza and Entergy Managerof External Affairs Ann Becker delivered curriculum material toBrookhaven High School and Alexander Junior High Schooladministrators Thursday to start off the initiative, which willreach all the students in the county.

“Our intention is to open Mississippi students’ eyes and mindsto the world of nuclear science,” Becker said. “This provides anopportunity to get students who have an interest in this field onthe right path.”

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Becker pointed out that nuclear energy could be the solution toa lot of the world’s problems, as it only costs half a cent perkilowatt hour as opposed to $.08 per kilowatt hour for electricenergy.

“Nuclear power plants are expensive to build, but run veryefficiently once they’re built,” she said. “And you really don’thave to be a nuclear scientist or engineer to work in the nuclearfield.”

Goza said all the public schools in the county and the city willreceive the curriculum, as will Copiah Academy and BrookhavenAcademy. He and Becker said getting the information into the schoolsystems lets kids know about a career field they might not haveeven known existed without hearing about it in the classroom.

“To me, this shows the emphasis Entergy puts on education, andit’s another additional way to encourage students from Lincoln andthe surrounding counties to stay in Mississippi and work and investin our communities,” he said.

Many residents of the area commute to the Grand Gulf NuclearFacility in Claiborne County, officials said. The DestinationEducation program not only encourages students to become schooledin nuclear energy, but also helps Entergy and Grand Gulf recruittheir workforce for the coming years.

“This is a good way to show kids how they can apply theirskills, and maybe build a better career for themselves,” Beckersaid.

Goza said another important facet is that students are shown howthe things they learn in school will be used in coming years ifthey decide to go into the nuclear energy field.

“All these schools are driven for rigor,” Goza said. “We havethe opportunity to show them the relevance of what they learn. It’sthe answer to ‘Why do you need to do this?'”