By: Hannah Kendrick, Contributing Writer
On March 13, 2018, Tonya Schmidt, science teacher at Centralia High School, took both her STEM class and her physics class to the Callaway Nuclear Power plant in Fulton, Missouri.
In order to prepare for the trip, the students learned about nuclear power and how power plants work. Jaymi Freeman, CHS senior, said the class “Took notes about nuclear fission, and Mrs. Schmidt talked to us about what to expect when we got there.” Kelsey Jaeger, CHS senior, said the notes covered the basics about how nuclear reactors and radiation works.
Schmidt has been taking her students to the power plant for three years. The students get a chance to interact with professionals. Many students in the class plan to secure a science-related job in their future.
The students saw many interesting aspects of the plant on their visit. Jaymi Freeman, CHS senior, said, “The most interesting thing I saw there was the cooling tower. Also, the uranium tube in the ground was interesting.” Kelsay Jaeger, another senior, also said, “The place in the ground where they put all the used uranium was the most interesting thing I saw.” Dawson Kirtley commented on an interesting fact he learned while at the plant. He said, “The cooling tower is 630 ft. tall, and it pumps in 15,000 gallons of water every minute.”