Hanford encourages student tours to help increase interest in ST - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford encourages student tours to help increase interest in STEM fields

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RICHLAND, WA - There are various reasons cited for bringing young children, middle schoolers, and even high school students to Hanford.

"If this can get kids excited about what science really means, what math really means and what they can build and do and create, it's worth every second of keeping this open," said Senator Patty Murray.

For one, a lot of kids who grow up around here know that the Hanford site is nearby, but don't actually know what goes on or went on there, so in that aspect it's about awareness.

But secondly, the hope is that many students will come on these tours and become interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math fields as they get older.

When the Manhattan Project National Historic Park first opened last November, one of the obstacles preventing children from entering the area was taken away: the policy that prohibits anyone under twelve years old from taking a tour.

Senator Murray says giving kids of all ages an opportunity to learn about math and science in a venue such as Hanford is vital for the future. She even toured the B reactor at the Hanford site today.

The Manhattan Project National Historic Park is hoping to entice more students to visit for field trips related to STEM education.

Two thousand students from across central and eastern Washington have toured the Manhattan Project National Historic Park since it officially opened last November, which totals twenty percent of the overall visitor turnout.

In addition to getting kids interested in science, math, and engineering fields, these tours are meant to educate people of all ages who might still not know what exactly went on at the Hanford site in the 40's, 50's, and 60's...the height of World War II and the Cold War.

Past, present, and future are hoping to be covered in these visits.