CINCH educational outreach challenge winners
Following AFCP’s recent competition to develop creative learning materials for UK schools, we are excited to announce the winning entries.
AFCP is supporting the European project “CINCH” in developing educational resources for high school students. CINCH aspires to develop the next generation’s interest, knowledge and skills in nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry. In line with this, a challenge was issued across the AFCP consortium – consisting of the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and universities collaborating as part of AFCP – to submit their best ideas for bringing the science of AFCP to high school students.
We are pleased to announce that after nine incredible ideas were brought to our attention, two will be developed: Ronald Clark from NNL and Dr Gurpreet Singh from Imperial College London.
Interactive lessons around sustainable processing
Ronald submitted an idea based around school laboratory work that demonstrates vitrification, aqueous processing and pyro processing in the form a colourful interactive lesson that explores facets of nuclear by-product treatment not widely taught in schools. Linking neatly into the themes of effluent treatment and pyro processing, this activity will help show that AFCP represents a new approach to the processing of nuclear products, which helps make the case for nuclear as part of the low carbon electricity mix as we move toward the UK’s 2050 Net Zero goal.
Tools to construct advanced recycling knowledge
Gurpreet created a demonstration of radionuclide immobilisation. This fun exercise will be part of a ‘toolkit’ that will show high-level, intermediate and low-level waste as well as the methods of treating radioactive effluent by filtration and adsorption. By bringing attention to AFCP’s themes of immobilisation, aqueous recycling and effluent treatment, Gurpreet’s idea will help students envision what happens in recycling and capture the many possibilities in nuclear processing.
Inspiring the next generation of nuclear innovation
As we aim for a carbon neutral economy and head forward a new generation of nuclear energy, we aim to inspire and engage young people to consider STEM disciplines. Education about the benefits of cutting-edge nuclear technology and knowledge of how nuclear fuel cycles work will only help in the realisation of AFCP’s goals. Engaging communities with transparency around nuclear operations not only improves the image of the industry, but also creates meaningful dialogue that will increase public understanding of how AFCP is delivering nuclear science to benefit society.
All the ideas submitted were of the highest calibre and those not developed now have been archived for future use. We cannot wait to bring Ronald and Gurpreet’s ideas to life and would like to thank everyone who took part. The competition truly showcased the enthusiasm and creativity across the programme, demonstrating AFCP’s strategic aims of skill development and engagement in order to help shape the future of fuel cycle innovation.
We hope that all future outreach challenges might be as fruitful as this one and encourage everyone to take part – not least for the voucher prizes our winners received for their efforts!
Congratulations to Ronald and Gurpreet!