Science community comes to defense of student who brought uranium plate to school
The science community is coming to the defense of a student who caused school to be evacuated after bringing a plate made with depleted uranium to school.
Haddon Township High School was evacuated for a short time on Friday. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said that this was due to a “potentially dangerous substance” found at the school. The office said on Monday that no charges would be filed.
The decision came after more than a few dozen scientists from around the world came to the student’s defense in a letter to the school superintendent.
"I was really hoping to add my voice of a long list of people that are trying to encourage science curiosity,” said Amanda Bachmann, a Ph.D. student from the University of Illinois.
Published reports say that the student brought in a piece of old Fiesta dinnerware to show a teacher. Years ago, these plates were made with depleted uranium oxide.
“This very clever student put together a Geiger counter with a dinner plate. That's cool. That's part of American history and that's part of American history of nuclear physics chemistry here,” says chemist Dr. Stephen Boyd.
Those in the nuclear science field says that they are hoping to educate the Camden County community on the topic to take away the fear that this situation caused.
“The community should not be chastised. They should fix it. But the student should be lauded because the student did what I and millions of people around the world have done. They read something and they put two and two together,” says Boyd.
"I want him to know that his curiosity is appreciated, his interest in the world of nuclear science and technology is appreciated and there's a lot of us rooting for him,” says Bachmann.
The Haddon Township School superintendent says that he cannot discuss if there will be any disciplinary action taken against the student. But says that the evacuation was proactive and precautionary.