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March Madness . . . of the science kind!

by on March 12, 2013
Cook Nuclear Plant’s Ken Housh works as a judge in the 2013 Science Olympiad.Photo by: Dave Lefor

(Story by Dave Lefor)

BRIDGMAN, Mich. — It’s that time of the year when the students are checking their brackets and competing . . . in the 26th Annual Science Olympiad. The Science Olympiad is an opportunity for students in Berrien County to compete using hands-on science skills and knowledge.

Each school volunteer from D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant took time to work on various science projects with student teams representing a chosen school district. Mentors, faculty coaches and students worked together during after-school hours for five weeks on their projects. As an additional part of the program, volunteer mentors got the pleasure of presenting a check for $250 from the Cook Plant to their school team to help purchase supplies needed for the event.

This year’s classroom volunteers from Cook included Kevin Swart, Roger Keller, Beth Emily, Anthony Warman and Steve Petro.

”Investing our time and talent is very rewarding, not only for the students but also for us, the employees who volunteer their time and knowledge.” said Keller. “It has been a pleasure working with these talented individuals in the classroom and an added bonus to see them compete against other local schools in the Science Olympiad.”

The volunteers provided mentoring for local school students participating in Berrien County’s annual Science Olympiad, that was held March 4 at Lake Michigan College. The Science Olympiad event is sponsored each year by the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency (RESA).

This year, over 35 different events were judged. Events range from Experimental Design, Thermodynamics, Water Quality, Remote Sensing, Robot Arms, and Circuit Labs to name a few. Cook’s Ken Housh volunteered to be a judge for the Materials Science Event this year.

Tonya Snyder, Berrien RESA’s Student Activities coordinator, was very excited about this year’s partnership with Cook. “The continued support from Cook has been outstanding,” she said. “The schools really appreciate the commitment from the Cook volunteers in preparing the students for the events. We look forward to a continuing partnership with Cook.”

“Having our employees involved in our communities is very important to Cook and AEP” said Engineering Vice President [Shane Lies]. “Helping our area students succeed in math and science will help us prepare the next generation of nuclear employees. The more volunteers we have to reach out to local students the better chance we have to encourage them to follow this area of study and who knows – one day be a part our Cook Team.”

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