LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2016) — Thirty-two Marshall County High School students had a chance to see science come to life Sept. 28 at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP). The students, along with their teacher, Tina Marshall, toured the facility as part of a United States Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored visit. They will be developing an Annual Site Environmental Report (ASER) Summary that documents the site’s current environmental condition. A group of graduate students, staff, and faculty from the University of Kentucky College of Design and the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) Kentucky Research Consortium on Energy and the Environment joined the tour.

The students met with Jennifer Woodard, the DOE Paducah site lead, as well as several other technical experts from DOE and site contractors. They toured the control room and viewed the production buildings and various testing points/wells of the remediation processes.

“My favorite part was the control room,” said Elizabeth Padgett, a Marshall County student. “Seeing all the wire routes and panels took us all back to the technology of the time.”

Following the tour, students learned about the surrounding habitats and wetlands from local experts for upcoming fieldwork to be used in the ASER Summary.

This is the fourth AP high school science class to work on the project. The creation of the ASER allows the students direct access to scientists, engineers, consulting firms and DOE government officials working the PGDP deactivation and decontamination. It gives the students a real-life project that not only contributes to their understanding of their local history, but provides invaluable experience for their academic and professional futures.


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue

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Robby Pace at CAER 101John Jennings