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Local Volunteer Recognized for More Than 30 Years of Service

Engineer has lasting impact

Aiken, SC (10/18/2022) — Raymond (Ray) Tran was recently honored for his 30-plus years of volunteer service with the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center's (RPSEC) Traveling Science and Mathematics Demonstrations program.

Tran, an Engineer with Savannah River Mission Completion, was awarded the Sandra J. Jordan STEM Ambassador Award at the RPSEC annual stakeholder's meeting in September to recognize his dedication to STEM education outreach.

Tran has been volunteering to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) outreach activities since 1988. What began with a request to support local science fairs as a judge has led to him providing STEM presentations in almost all the CSRA's elementary and middle schools and some high schools. He has reached tens of thousands of students providing demonstrations about liquid nitrogen, superconductivity, gravity, and problem-solving.

"I love to see the joy in the faces of the students," Ray Tran said. "With just a little energy, enthusiasm, and humor, I can make science approachable and for everyone. Getting students excited about science clearly supports any technical industry including nuclear missions at SRS. If you can have fun along the way, it is just an added benefit."

According to Gary Senn, director of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (RPSEC), our mission is to infuse a love of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. "Having dedicated volunteers like Ray visit local classrooms is one way that helps us infuse that love of STEM. Bringing his fun and informative, interactive presentations to local schools has had a lasting impact on students," said Senn.

North Augusta Middle School science teacher Ann Cohen stated, "Ray has been coming to my class for over a decade. His enthusiasm, humor, and joyous personality have helped take a difficult subject "matter" and turn it into a memorable experience for over 2,500 students. When I see my former students in the community, one of the memories they always recount is the demonstration that Ray was part of. There's no doubt that his contribution to education has made an indelible mark on each of them!"

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