STEMCon 2014

May 20, 2014

   Dade Moeller health physicist teaches STEM students about radioactivity

Photo: Keith McCartney explains alpha, beta, and gamma radiation.

We were delighted to participate once again in STEMCon at Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities on Thursday, May 15, 2014.

STEMCon is a series of workshops and speakers for local high school students, providing an opportunity to engage in fun, hands-on activities and increase their awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers.

This year, two of Dade Moeller's certified health physicists, Mark Fishburn and Keith McCartney, volunteered to provide a 2.5-hour long workshop called "Radioactivity is Everywhere!" In attendance were 12 students from Chiawana High School (Pasco) and Delta High School (Richland). All of the students had specifically selected this as the presentation they wanted to attend.

The students especially enjoyed using the radiation detection instruments that Mark and Keith brought in, as the students investigated the properties of distance and shielding using various sources of radioactivity. Mark and Keith report that the students were very engaged and inquisitive, asking great questions during the presentation and the laboratory exercises.

Any of the students would make excellent future employees of Dade Moeller, they said!

"It is important to get kids interested in and excited about STEM areas of study," said Mark. "This was my third year giving a session at STEMCon, and the kids never fail to surprise me with their enthusiasm and questions."

At Dade Moeller, we know that "science in the schools" is vital to encouraging the scientists of the future, and that some of the students with whom we interact today may be our co-workers in a few short years! We value highly our volunteer efforts in our local schools, and we encourage our employees to get into the schools and contribute to the STEM education of our nation’s youth!