Science hit the road Monday in a convoy to rural East Tennessee.
The entire Union County public school system enjoyed a fun and educational event along with students from neighboring counties.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Traveling Science Fair tours carnival style with six colorful interactive trailers. Dale Heidenreich says each one explores real science with real experts.
"The staff that we have here with the trailers today they are all workers that have a job at the Lab. So it gives us an opportunity to talk to the kids about what our lives are like at the Laboratory and what we do," he explained.
Aileen Beeler is a science teacher at Union County High School.
"I don't think you can put a dollar amount on the intellectual services they brought today. My kids can ask these people anything and they know the answers a lot better than us in the classroom do. And we are so excited that they are here," she said.
She appreciates that the science fair also highlights mission support and possible job opportunities apart from pure science: welders, nurses, carpenters, architects, radiation control technicians.
"It's not just for STEM jobs - science, technology, engineering, math. That's all great and we really push that. But I also want my kids that are involved in CTE programs like electrical or plumbing or concrete or whatever it might be that those jobs are also needed at Oak Ridge and there's a place for that in STEM," she said.
There's a place for science beyond the classroom at the ORNL Traveling Science Fair.
"The more we study in science the more doors open and the more ideas come to your head on how you can improve the way we live and how we change the future," Dale Heidenreich said.