Thursday, February 25, 2016

INL hosting high school students for tours, education

Idaho National Laboratory will host high school students from throughout the region Friday at a new event designed to support the federal My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

President Obama announced the MBK initiative in 2014 to address opportunity gaps faced by disadvantaged and minority youth. INL added it this year to the roster of events it sponsors to interest students in the potential for a career at the national laboratory. The goal of the event is to break down stereotypes about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers and provide students with role models and mentors to follow.

Workforce development is one of the great challenges right now, said INL Director Mark Peters. “It’s vital that we engage students now and make sure they are aware of the incredible opportunities right here in Idaho, along with the education and training needed to take advantage of them.”

Students will participate in a full day of hands-on activities and laboratory tours, interact with research scientists and nuclear engineers, and learn about STEM careers and opportunities for post-secondary education and internships. MBK will engage students in STEM activities relevant to the mission of INL and related to the curriculum they are learning in school.

“Too often, students, parents and teachers are not aware of the opportunities available in their own backyard,” said Amy Lientz, INL’s director of Partnerships, Engagement and Technology Deployment. “In the end, this type of event builds interest in STEM careers and helps to grow our talent pipeline, enabling a sustainable future workforce.”

This year’s event will be held at the Energy Innovation Laboratory in Idaho Falls, and in several other INL facilities.