Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) regional coordinators play an integral role in helping to develop, grow, evaluate and maintain our K-12 outreach programs. As NPI grows programming across Texas in meeting our mission, regional coordinators serve as area “points of contact” to assure our K-12 partners with NPI accessibility while also providing NPI staff a continued awareness and understanding of the specific needs and perspectives of our partner schools, their communities and area industries.
High School Programs
Workforce Industry Training (WIT)
NPI’s Workforce Industry Training (WIT) program is for high school students who are interested in expanding their knowledge and understanding of careers in STEM. More specifically, the purpose of WIT is to mentor, encourage, and prepare students for STEM-rich programs at universities, two-year technical colleges, and technician certificate programs. By participating in WIT, students gain exposure to higher education and career opportunities through a series of six funded field trips per year while building the confidence to consider further STEM education. This confidence comes from the knowledge and familiarity students gain from their WIT experiences. During the 2019-2020 academic year, the WIT program grew from availability in 18 to 30 Texas high schools – reaching over 1,900 students. Next year, our goal is to grow into more schools and reach more Texas students.
WIT students can participate in activities such as:
- Enjoy mentoring activities by industry professionals.
- Visit STEM industries to gain awareness and develop preparation.
- Hear from and meet professional guest speakers.
- Take part in professional development activities.
- Visit universities and community colleges.
- Participate in community engagement and mentoring activities.
“Being a part of WIT, I have had the privilege to both witness and experience the effectiveness of the mentor program … We have learned from people who were in similar situations as us years ago, and we have been able to gather tips from them that will help us overcome obstacles in our future. I admire the mentors’ sacrifice of time to pour into the next generation the knowledge, insight and work ethic that they have.”
–Glen Rose High School WIT member
2018-2019 vs. 2019-2020 Program Comparison
Achieving Together with Optimistic Mentoring (ATOM)
ATOM is a WIT-supported program with a yearlong commitment between WIT members mentor and ATOM mentees. The ATOM group provides WIT members an opportunity to give back by interacting and mentoring young elementary and middle school students – engaging them in academic activities that impassion these students to stay focused on a strong STEM path. The intent of the ATOM program is to create a “spark” that ignites a unique collaborative and nurturing relationship between older and younger students interested in pursuing STEM. During the 2019-2020 school year, our WIT members mentored over 900 elementary and middle school students.
Science On Saturday (SOS)
NPI supports our partner high schools and their WIT organizations to organize fun, educational, and interactive STEM events for the whole community. Science on Saturday (SOS) is designed to spotlight WIT’s enthusiasm for STEM and ignite an interest and experiments, hands-on activities, and demonstrations on a variety of science and engineering topics. Past events have included activities related to robots, virtual reality, building and structural challenges, health science, and aerospace engineering, among others. All K-12 students, parents, educators, and community members are invited to participate in this program.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, SOS expanded from two events a year to five events. Three schools have already hosted their event (Stephenville High School – approximately 500 attendees, Troy High School – approximately 300 attendees, El Campo High School – approximately 250 attendees). Angleton High School and Foster High School have postponed their events due to the COVID-19 crisis. NPI is determined to provide support for events like this to even more schools in the coming years.
Various Teacher Enhancement Activities currently in progress
NPI is currently exploring various avenues to bring the resources of our partners together to better support and serve our partner students, educators, and schools such as: teacher professional development opportunities, TEKS-aligned lessons/modules, supportive and educational materials, additional STEM focused camps, training, and events, instructional STEM videos, and maximizing our social media presence. If you have any suggestions you would like NPI to explore, we would love to hear them.
- The American Nuclear Society and Discovery Education are providing the highest standard in nuclear science education with Navigating Nuclear: Energizing Our WorldTM. This new, dynamic, standards-aligned program invites students to explore the many applications of nuclear science and its impact on energy, healthcare, food, and the environment through an interactive suite of FREE classroom resources.