“Be prepared.” For Scouts, the motto means they’re always in a state of readiness to do their duty. Exelon Generation has partnered with Boy and Girl Scout troops for years in their local communities, welcoming them at the plants, teaching them about nuclear energy, and helping to prepare them for future careers in nuclear energy.
Learning and Earning Merit Badges
For several years, Exelon Generation’s nuclear facilities have hosted fairs and clinics for Boy and Girl Scouts to earn merit badges by exploring and studying various subjects. In August 2018, Clinton Power Station in Clinton, Ill., hosted a Merit Badge Fair that drew more than 500 Scouts, leaders, parents and counselors from all over Illinois and neighboring states. One Scout came from as far as California!
There are more than 100 badges that Boy and Girl Scouts can earn, including one in nuclear science. When Scouts visit one of Exelon’s nuclear plants to earn a nuclear science badge, they spend time in the main control room simulator and get a chance to “run” the plant using the same equipment that operators train on. The simulator is an exact replica of a plant’s real control room.
Quad Cities Station employee David Haberkorn, who achieved Eagle Scout status in 1985, enjoys taking part in the events at his station. “I’m a counselor for the nuclear science merit badge and have been an adult leader since 1987,” Haberkorn said.
In addition to spending time in the simulator, the Scouts take part in activities that teach them about fission and how nuclear plants work, radiation, the robust safety culture in the industry, and careers in nuclear energy.
Supporting Girls in STEM
In the last several years, Girl Scouts of America has incorporated more STEM-related badges and initiatives into its program to help reduce the gender gap in STEM fields. Exelon is committed to closing that gap as well. In 2018, Exelon Generation helped enable thousands of girls across central and northeast Pennsylvania to attend STEM Expos free of charge with a $30,000 contribution to Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.
Members of the Women In Nuclear (WIN) chapters at Exelon’s nuclear stations organize and participate in many events with Girl Scouts in their plant communities, including the Girl Scouts’ STEMapalooza and Atomic Fission Fun events, to introduce young girls to nuclear science.