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Students engage in hands-on learning at INL career day

Science

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Mackay High School student Colt Kraczek attending the INL Career Day

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho National Laboratory continues to reach out to the younger generation through career exploration events.

Thursday, INL hosted it’s second annual High School Career dDy. Some 50 high school juniors from Idaho Falls, Firth, Mackay, Butte, Shelley, Preston and Bancroft were selected to participate in this years event.

“There’s a lot of things they do here at INL that I didn’t know. It’s really opened my eyes to opportunities available in the area,” Mackay High School student, Colt Kraczek said.

The day was full of hands-on learning rotations and laboratory tours focused around Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Students were able to solve the mystery of a mock explosion through chemistry, build a device that demonstrates radiation detection, learn about cyber security and experience a 3-D visualization lab.

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INL worker Randy Bewley instructing students in the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Laboratory

“It’s a cool place to be because you’re not getting your science off of a text book. You’re surrounded, you’re almost enveloped within the science,” INL’s K-12 STEM liaison Tabrie Landon said.

Students were also able to mingle with mentors who were experienced in various fields of engineering science and communication.

Program spokeswoman Anne Seifert said INL wants to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM areas, and as Landon said maybe even inspire future careers with INL.

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Students learning about the INL Solar Microgrid

“What better place to do that than at INL, where world-renowned scientists and engineers are conducting important research? This event allows students to see first-hand how science, math and engineering principles apply in the real world,” Seifert said in a news release.

Kraczek and other students enjoyed the experience and the ability to have interactive learning opportunities.

“At school we’re just learning theories. (This event) helps us see that there’s reason we’re learning it, and how we can apply it,” Kraczek said.

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