Even though we are still in the summer months, some of the best and brightest South Texas educators were in class this week, learning about the local mining industry.
The five-day teacher training was hosted by the Texas Mining and Reclamation Association and the Texas State Aquarium. It included lessons on mining techniques, radiation safety, environmental protection and even a uranium mining plant tour, all in an effort to dispel some of the myths about nuclear energy.
The training session also showed how uranium is used in real-world applications, and how the industry affects our local economy.
"It's always more fun to do it than just watch it," said Francye Hutchins, director of education for the Texas Mining and Reclamation Association. "We want teachers to get excited about what we are doing. They will be excited in the classroom. The kids will get a better education having actual activities to do."
"It's important we do this," said Howard Fels of Mestena Uranium. "There's lots of negative perception about nuclear energy, uranium. That's commonplace. We are bringing the teachers in here for first-hand experience with it so they can bring facts back to their classroom."
Friday's final activity included a mock job fair, in which teachers researched jobs in the uranium industry; jobs some of their students could be interested in when they grow up.
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