JUNO BEACH, Fla. – One of the hardest merit badges that a Boy Scout can earn is the Nuclear Science Merit Badge. What makes this badge special is that it must be earned at facilities that use nuclear science in their daily activities.
Thirty local Boy Scouts spent their day at the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant’s Energy Encounter earning their Nuclear Science Merit Badge on Oct. 21. The seven-hour workshop was led by Victoria Graham, one of St. Lucie’s young engineers who is passionate about nuclear science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. The scouts learned about basic nuclear concepts, built their own electroscopes and toured the plant’s training simulator, among other activities.
“At FPL, we’re working to improve the lives of those in the communities we serve,” said Graham. “One way we do this is by investing in STEM education programs, which help students build critical work-related skills in technology and innovation, and use initiatives like Nuclear Science Week to help build student interest in the fields of science and engineering and in careers in the power industry.”
NSW is an international, broadly observed week-long celebration to focus local, regional, national and international interest on all aspects of nuclear science. NSW takes place each year during the third week of October, and each day of NSW provides for learning about the contributions, innovations and opportunities that can be found by exploring nuclear science.
Throughout the week, team members from the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant participated in various community events, all centered around nuclear science. On Tuesday, members gave a basic nuclear 101 presentation to science students at Port St. Lucie’s Centennial West High School. Several St. Lucie employees read a book titled “Marie’s Electric Adventure” to children at Bessey Creek Elementary School in Palm City on Wednesday. The following day the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant welcomed students from the Boys and Girls Club to the site’s Energy Encounter, where the children participated in a variety of activities centered on nuclear science.
St. Lucie Engineer Celeste Weeks volunteered to participate in NSW to educate young people in the community about nuclear power and other career opportunities in nuclear science.
“FPL is committed to education and enriching Florida students’ experiences in science and math programs, and Nuclear Science Week gives our company the opportunity to reach out to students to do just that,” Weeks said. “Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of electricity that doesn’t emit any greenhouse gasses. It is affordable and reliable and that’s important.”
NSW invites people from all over the globe to “Get to Know Nuclear” and participate in a week-long celebration that advances education, stimulates participation, and generates communication that provides insight and visibility for the achievements of the nuclear sciences. FPL is proud to showcase its commitment to investing in STEM education for the future generation and to helping make our communities even better places to live and work.
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving approximately 4.9 million customer accounts or an estimated 10 million people across nearly half of the state of Florida. FPL's typical 1,000-kWh residential customer bill is approximately 25 percent lower than the latest national average and, in 2016, was the lowest in Florida among reporting utilities for the seventh year in a row. FPL's service reliability is better than 99.98 percent, and its highly fuel-efficient power plant fleet is one of the cleanest among all utilities nationwide. The company received the top ranking in the southern U.S. among large electric providers, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction StudySM, and was recognized in 2016 as one of the most trusted U.S. electric utilities by Market Strategies International. A leading Florida employer with approximately 8,900 employees, FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), a clean energy company widely recognized for its efforts in sustainability, ethics and diversity, and has been ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry in Fortune's 2017 list of "World's Most Admired Companies." NextEra Energy is also the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.