Outstanding efforts deserve recognition, and Duke Energy’s Women in Nuclear (WIN) Central Chapter got just that this summer at the 2014 U.S. Women in Nuclear National Conference.
In July, 45 Duke Energy WIN members made their way to Boston to accept two national awards for the company’s Central Chapter, which includes members from Brunswick, Robinson and Oconee nuclear stations. This chapter was honored with the “Overall Excellence” and “Excellence in Public Outreach” awards based on the impressive accomplishments the chapter’s 70 members completed in the past year, which included:
- 2,549 hours of public outreach, reaching 4,899 people
- 2,032 hours of professional development for 200 people
- 1,264 hours of networking with 360 members
Some examples of the chapter’s public outreach activities include:
- Participating in National Nuclear Science Week by teaching elementary students about basic electricity and nuclear power with hands-on activities and teaching high school students about nuclear careers
- Showing Pandora’s Promise, a documentary film about the history and future of nuclear power, to high school students
- Participating in Career Day, sharing information on becoming a nuclear professional to 150 middle school students
- Teaching 127 homeschool students about electricity, nuclear energy, radiation dress out and how to make rockets at Oconee Nuclear Station’s World of Energy Homeschooler’s Day
- Partnering with the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) and the public library to hold Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Days with hands-on activities
- Science fair judging
- Participating in pen pal programs with students
- Teacher education with American Nuclear Society at UNCW
- Robotics team sponsorship and demonstrations; STEM speaks to high school students
- Mentorship of Clemson Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) – Girl Scout badges
- Myth busting with Southport Junior Women’s Club
“We primarily concentrated on STEM activities with a nuclear power or electricity focus for K-12 students,” said Melanie Roberts, Duke Energy Central Chapter member from Brunswick. While WIN provides outreach activities year round, a major focus occurs during National Nuclear Science Week, which is held October 20-24 this year.
Duke Energy’s other active WIN chapters – the Piedmont Chapter, including members from the Charlotte corporate office and McGuire, Harris and Catawba nuclear stations, and the Gulf Chapter, including members from Crystal River 3 – also regularly interact with the community, promoting nuclear power as a viable, safe, green power source, as well as a stimulating and rewarding career opportunity.
Throughout the year, Duke Energy’s WIN chapters also offer its members networking activities, such as plant tours, fitness and wellness walks with other utility WIN chapters, and professional development activities like seminars, regional and national conferences, webinars, lunch and learns, and financial planning sessions.
Congratulations to Duke Energy’s Central Chapter, and thank you to all who continue to share the benefits of nuclear energy with the public.